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

Undergraduate Course: Nuclear Astrophysics (PHYS11053)

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
SummaryThis is an introductory course in Nuclear Astrophysics, a subject in its own right that often drives major scientific and technological advances in modern day research both in nuclear physics and astrophysics.

The course will build upon (and adds a layer of complexity to) the existing Nuclear Physics course and will provide an option for choice of specialized topics within Nuclear Physics (but also Astrophysics).
Course description Aspects of Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics:
* Solar System abundances;
* HR diagram;
* Stellar evolution of single stars;
* Binary stellar systems;
* Review of nuclear properties (masses, binding energies,shell structure);
* Overview of nuclear reactions.

Thermonuclear Reactions in Stars:
* Cross sections and astrophysical S-factor;
* Resonant and non-resonant reactions;
* Reactions with charged particles;
* Reactions with neutron;
* Reactions with photons;
* Electron screening;
* Reaction rates.

* Hydrogen burning (pp chain and CNO cycle);
* Helium burning;
* Advanced burning stages (carbon-, neon-, oxygen-, and silicon-burning modes);
* The s-process;
* The r-process;
* Other nucleosynthesis processes (rp-process, p-process);
* Explosive nucleosynthesis.

Nuclear Physics Experiments:
* General aspects and Equipment;
* Experiments with stable nuclei;
* Experiments with unstable nuclei;
* Targets and related equipment;
* Detectors and techniques;
* Yields and cross sections;
* Recent experimental results.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites Students MUST also take: Nuclear Physics (PHYS11041)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
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 10, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 64 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% exam
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand and be familiar with key concepts of Nuclear Astrophysics
  2. Calculate key quantities based on their definitions
  3. Show an appreciation of experimental challenges and techniques
  4. Develop the ability to communicate clearly the physics of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis
  5. Demonstrate a high degree of independence in learning and retrieving information from books and other sources
Reading List
Suggested textbooks for the course:

C. Iliadis, Nuclear Physics of Stars, Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., 2007

C.E. Rolfs and W.S. Rodney, Cauldrons in the Cosmos, The University of Chicago Press, 1988

D.D. Clayton, Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis, The University of Chicago Press, 1983

K.S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1988
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Marialuisa Aliotta
Tel: (0131 6)50 5288
Course secretaryMr Kieran Brodie
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