Undergraduate Course: Relativity, Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS10096)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  20 
ECTS Credits  10 
Summary  This course covers three main topics: an advanced treatment of special relativity and an introduction to both, nuclear and particle physics. The aims are (i) to discuss relativistic kinematics and dynamics, particle scattering and decays, and to introduce the students to general relativity; (ii) to introduce students to the concepts of nucleonnucleon interaction, nucleon angular momentum and spin, the nuclear shell model, excited states, alpha and beta decays; and (iii) to introduce students to the standard model of particles physics, including fundamental particles (quarks, leptons, gauge and Higgs bosons) and forces, conservation laws, the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions and the Higgs mechanism. The course replaces Dynamics and relativity and Subatomic Physics. 
Course description 
Relativity:
 Newton's Laws, Frames of References, Galilean Transformation.
 Twobody Systems, Conservation of Momentum and Energy, CentreofMass and Laboratory Frames.
 Particle scattering: Differential Cross Section, Hard Sphere Scattering, Rutherford Scattering.
 Special Relativity: Einsteins Postulates, Synchronisation of clocks, Simultaneity of events, Lorentz Transformation, Minkowski Diagrams, Length Contraction, Time Dilation.
 Relativistic Kinematics: Proper Time, Relativistic Doppler Effect, Twins Paradox, Accelerated Motion, World lines and Event Horizons.
 SpaceTime intervals: Spatial Rotations, Spacetime Rotations, Invariance of the Interval, The Light Cone and Causality.
 FourVectors: FourVelocity, FourAcceleration, FourMomentum, Scalar Product, Conservation of 4 Momentum.
 Relativistic Dynamics: Relativistic Energy, EnergyMomentum Relation, Invariant Velocity and Mass Zero Mass Particles, Generalising Newton's 2nd Law, Conservation Laws
 Particle Decays: TwoBody Decays, ThreeBody Decays, Production thresholds.
 Relativistic Scattering: Elastic Scattering, Twobody collisions, Compton Scattering, Pair Production
(Antiparticles), Inelastic Scattering.
 Equivalence Principle: Inertial Mass and Gravitational Mass, Galileo's Principle and Einstein's Thought Experiments, The Strong Equivalence Principle,
 Curvature: Gravitational Redshift, Bending of Light Rays, Curved Space time.
 General Relativity: The Metric Tensor, Einsteins Field Equations, Properties of the Schwarzschild Solution, Black holes, Motion in Curved Spacetime, Cosmology
Nuclear Physics:
 Bigbang, nucleosynthesis, binding of the deuteron by the strong force, energytime uncertainty relation, definition of the width of a state, energy nonconservation over short times, Yukawa exchange model of n  n interaction, virtual pion as exchange particle/field quantum, range of nuclear force, Yukawa potential, comparison to electromagnetic force, definition of mesons and baryons, Delta resonance production in photoproton reaction, Magnetic moments of fundamental particles the electron, magnetic moments of neutrons and protons  not fundamental particles, Quark  gluon model of n and p, colour neutrality.
 The nucleonnucleon interaction, charge independence of nuclear force, spin dependence of nuclear force, Nuclear sizes, electron nucleus scattering, electrons as example of leptons, momentum position uncertainty relation, precision measurements of nuclear size, diffraction effects, de Broglie relation, charge distributions, probes of matter distributions, evidence of surface diffuseness, Parameterisation of nuclear matter distribution, systematics of nuclear radii, evidence for liquid droptype behaviour, saturation of the nuclear force, Nuclear mass and binding energy, atomic mass unit defined, binding energy per nucleon, understanding of surface, volume and Coulomb energy effects, nucleus viewed as a charged liquid drop.
 Line of Nuclear stability, stability of light N = Z nuclei, the need for quantum mechanics/the Pauli exclusion principle, concept of the Fermi level, evolution of line of stability with increasing atomic number, Z, stability of eveneven nuclei and nuclear pairing energy, time reversed orbits, nucleon total angular momentum J from coupling of orbital angular momentum l and spin, s, explanation how pairing leads to all eveneven nuclei having a total groundstate spin J = 0.
 The nuclear shell model, evidence for enhance binding at magic numbers, concept of filling of major shells, nucleons moving independently in central potential, the WoodsSaxon potential, the need a for a spinorbit component to the nuclear potential, splitting of levels, examples of groundstate shell model configurations, the parity operator, parity as a multiplicative quantum number, the prediction of groundstate spin and parities.
 Excited states in nuclei, comparison to the shell model, mirror nuclei, excited states in eveneven nuclei  low lying 2+ states, collective vibrational excitation modes of the nucleus, evidence for nonspherical nuclear shapes in gammaray cascades, superdeformed nuclei, the deformed nuclear shell model.
 Beta decay, an example of the weak interaction, decay viewed as a pointlike interaction at the quark level, relation of range to masses of W particles, beta  decay  introduction of positron as antiparticle of electron, energy distribution of positrons, evidence for 3bodies, postulation of the existence of the neutrino, beta + decay and the electroncapture process in neutronrich nuclei, parity violation in nuclear beta decay, thermonuclear fusion in the sun, solar neutrino oscillations.
 Alphadecay and spontaneous fission in high Z nuclei, the production of new elements, chain reactions, induced fission, liquid drop perspective ion fission, saddle and scission points, definition of neutron separation energy, fissile material, neutron capture resonances, nuclear reactor.
Particle Physics:
 Fundamental particles & forces. The Standard Model. Conservation laws.
 Particle decays & lifetimes. Scattering processes. Crosssections.
 Particle acceleration & colliders.
 Interactions of particles in matter. Detectors.
 Introduction to Feynman diagrams. Electromagnetic processes. Coupling constant alpha (fine structure constant).
 Weak interactions. Charged & neutral currents. Pion, muon, tau decays. The CKM matrix.
 Strong interactions. Gluons. Colour. Strong coupling alpha_S. Introduction to confinement.
 The parton model. e+e  ยป hadrons.
 Electronproton scattering. DIS. Quark model of hadrons. Isospin.
 Neutrino mass and oscillations. CP violation. Recent experimental results.
 Properties of W & Z bosons. Electroweak unification.
 Introduction to Higgs mechanism. Searches for and discovery of the Higgs boson.

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: None 
Course Start 
Semester 1 
Timetable 
Timetable 
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) 
Total Hours:
200
(
Lecture Hours 40,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Summative Assessment Hours 3,
Revision Session Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
131 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
100 %,
Coursework
0 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Degree examination, 100% 
Feedback 
Not entered 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S1 (December)   3:00  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 Apply knowledge of core concepts in physics to more advanced topics in relativity, nuclear and particle physics;
 Formulate solutions to problems in relativity, nuclear and particle physics involving new concepts with limited guidance;
 Demonstrate knowledge of the frontiers of the discipline, for example, through cases where current theories fail to explain a set of experimental data;
 Locate and make use of detailed information on current topics in physics in the primary research literature;
 Summarise current thinking in relativity, nuclear and particle physics in a variety of written and oral forms, both alone and in collaboration with others.

Reading List
This course does not follow any particular textbook, such a book does not exist. However, most of the material in this will be covered in the following three books
 Dynamics and Relativity by W.D. McComb
 An Introduction to Nuclear Physics by Cottingham and Greeenwood
 Particle Physics, by B.R. Martin & G. Shaw, 3rd edition (Wiley 2008) 
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Keywords  RNP 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Philip Woods
Tel: (0131 6)50 5283
Email: philip.j.woods@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Ms Lucy DavisJenkins
Tel:
Email: ldavisj@ed.ac.uk 

