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PX396 Nuclear Physics

Lecturer: Michal Kreps
Weighting: 7.5 CATS

This module shows how the properties of the stable nucleus can be understood in terms of elementary models using basic physics from earlier modules, but with the introduction of the strong nuclear force. It is shown that the main features of the decay of unstable nuclei can also be understood on the basis of these ideas, but that a further interaction, the weak interaction, has to be included.

To introduce the concepts and models of nuclear physics. To describe experimental methods used to probe nuclear properties.

At the end of the module, you should

  • Be able to describe the properties and structure of stable nuclei
  • Understand the properties of the nuclear force
  • Be aware of the constraints on a quantum model of the nucleus
  • Understand the shell model and be able to explain radioactive processes including beta decay and its properties


Nuclear Properties : Nuclear radius; distribution of nuclear matter; nuclear mass and binding energy
Nuclear force and the strong interaction: Properties of the deuteron; nucleon-nucleon scattering; Isospin and the structure of nuclear forces
Nuclear models: Nucleons in a central potential; the shell model
Radioactivity: Radioactive decay, beta-decay and the weak interaction

Commitment: 15 Lectures

Assessment: 1.5 hour examination

This module has a home page.

Recommended Texts:

B.R. Martin, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Wiley, 2006

Leads from: Core modules on quantum physics.