PHY303  Nuclear Physics    Prof. Neil Spooner

The following information is available for this Level Three course:
    General description   Recommended books   Syllabus & Handouts   Lecture PDFs   Past exams

General Description

Value: 10 credits
Taught: Autumn Semester
Duration: 20 lectures
Timetable: 9:00 - 9:50 on Wednesdays in Lecture Theatre E and 12:10 - 13:00 on Fridays in Lecture Theatre C

Course Aims: To study the general properties of nuclei, to study the characteristics of the nuclear force, to introduce the principle models of the nucleus, to discuss radioactivity, to study nuclear reactions, in particular fission and fusion, and to develop problem-solving skills in all these areas.

Handouts: Handouts are provided for each section of the course, consisting of comprehensive notes, diagrams and other information. These will be supplemented by further explanation during the lectures and copies of the lecture slides. Note - all material is part of the course.

Additional material is available from these web pages. In addition to most of the handout material, sets of examples with solutions are available.

Assessment: This has two components, homeworks and the end-of-semester examination.

The purpose of the exercises is to help with revision of the lecture material and to give practice in problem solving. Two assessed homeworks will be given, plus two unassessed. The total homework mark counts 15% towards the module. (Although the other exercises will not be assessed, they still form an important part of the course and should be attempted seriously. Solutions to these exercises will be handed out no later than two weeks after they are set.)

The two-hour examination has one compulsory short-answer question, and a choice of 2 other questions from a selection of 4.  All three questions have equal weight, and together count 85% towards the module.

Context: PHY303 is part of the core of all MPhys degrees and BSc Physics, Theoretical Physics, Physics & Astronomy, Physics & Medical Physics .  It is an option for BSc Maths & Physics, Physics & Philosophy, Physics & Electronics and Physics & Material Science.

Recommended Books:

Text Books: Introductory Nuclear Physics - K.S. Krane
Nuclear and Particle Physics - W.S.C Williams

If you have any queries about this course, please e-mail me at

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