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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Nuclear Physics (PHYS11041)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course will build on the Subatomic Physics course by further exploring the fundamentals of nuclear matter as well as considering some of the most important applications of nuclear physics. Topics to be studied will include decay modes, nuclear reactions, and interactions between radiation and matter. The lecture course will be integrated with problem solving classes.
Course description Alpha decay:
Energetics. Tunneling effect and probability. Geiger-Nuttall plot. Transition rates and selection rules.

Beta decay:
Electron and positron spectra. (Neutrino mass). Kurie plot. Fermi theory of beta decay. Fermi and Gamow-Teller interactions. Transition rates and selection rules. Electron capture. Neutrinos. Parity violation in beta decay.

Gamma decay:
Energetics. Weisskopf units. Transition rates and selection rules. Angular distribution measurements. Internal conversion.

Nuclear reactions:
Nomenclature and general features. Conservation laws. Reference frames and transformation laws. Cross section. Energy spectra. Angular distributions. Elastic scattering. Direct reactions. Compound nucleus reactions. (Heavy-ion reactions).

Nuclear physics applications:
Sources of radiation and their interaction with matter: charged particles, gamma rays, neutrons. Bethe-Bloch formula. Bragg curve. Particle range. Photo-electric effect, Compton scattering, pair production. Neutron scattering and moderation. Radiation detection and measurement. Examples of practical applications.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Relativity, Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS10096) OR ( Nuclear and Particle Physics (PHYS10106) AND Electromagnetism and Relativity (PHYS10093))
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Principles of Quantum Mechanics (PHYS10094) OR Quantum Mechanics (PHYS09053)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements At least 80 credit points accrued in courses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 22, Formative Assessment Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 40 )
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 S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)Nuclear Physics resit2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify basic nuclear phenomena and outline their theoretical descriptions
  2. Apply learned concepts to the calculation of key nuclear parameters
  3. Manage to solve problems similar to those discussed in workshops
  4. Develop critical thinking and independent learning while working as part of a group
Reading List
Course material will be made available in Learn
Additional Information
Course URL Course material will be made available in Learn
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Workshop/tutorial sessions, as arranged.
Course organiserDr Moritz Reiter
Tel: (0131 6)50 5286
Course secretaryMrs Catherine MacMillan
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