Acquiring the knowledge and competencies in nuclear physics, which represents an important branch of modern physics with implications in a number of basic physical sciences (particle physics, astrophysics, astronomy and cosmology), whose applications on the other hand are the basis of modern technologies: nuclear medicine techniques in the diagnosis and therapy, energy production, dating, examination of the structure of materials, applications in ecology, geology and climatology, nuclear forensics, etc.
The course is designed as a direct successor of the course Nuclear physics 1, with the main objective to cover the fundamental knowledge about the structure, excitations, decays and reactions of atomic nuclei, including the overview of the most important experiments and practical applications of quantum mechanics and classical electrodynamics in the physics of microscopic finite systems - aggregates of particles that interact through the strong, weak, and electromagnetic force.
Together with the course predecessor, Nuclear physics 1, this course provides the basic knowledge and entry competencies for the specialist courses on fourth and fifth years of study (Medical Physics, Nuclear Astrophysics, Nuclear Structure, Nuclear Physics Laboratory, Structure of Nucleons, Hadrons Physics, Reactor Physics) and to connect to the Doctoral Program in Nuclear Physics or some of the above referred fundamental disciplines, as well as with specialist and doctoral studies in medical physics.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.2 demonstrate profound knowledge of advanced methods of theoretical physics which include classical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, statistical physics and quantum physics
1.3 demonstrate profound knowledge of the most important physics theories, which includes their interpretation, experimental motivation and confirmation, logical and mathematical structure, and description of the related physical phenomena
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1 develop a way of thinking that allows the student to set the model or to recognize and use the existing models in the search for solutions to specific physical and analog problems
2.3 apply standard methods of mathematical physics, in particular mathematical analysis and linear algebra and corresponding numerical methods when solving physics problems
2.4 apply existing models for understanding and explaining new experimental phenomena and data
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.3 use English as the language of communication in the profession, the use of literature, and writing scientific papers and articles
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1 consult professional literature independently as well as other relevant sources of information, which implies a good knowledge of English as a language of professional communication
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the knowledge of basic concepts of nuclear excitations and radioactive decays, apply the law of nuclear decay.
2. Explain the fundamental electromagnetic transitions, apply electromagnetic multipole transition operators and transition matrix elements in the description of the probabilities for electric and magnetic transitions and respective selection rules.
3. Describe the nuclear alpha decay in the context of the existing experimental data, and apply quantum mechanics to calculate the probability of nuclear alpha decay.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of nuclear fission in the context of quantum mechanics and the application of the phenomenological approach to explain the production of energy in fission.
5. Apply quantum mechanics in describing nuclear beta decay half lives and the respective selection rules, explain the double beta decay.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of nuclear shell model and magic numbers.
7. Apply single-particle potentials in the harmonic oscillator approximation and extensions with the spin-orbit interaction in the description of single-particle spectra of spherical and deformed nuclei.
8. Explain nuclear vibrations of density and shape within the collective model
9. Describe models of nuclear rotation, rotational energy bands and electromagnetic transitions within the band.
10. Apply quantum mechanics to determine the cross sections for Coulomb excitation of nuclei, direct nuclear reactions, and reactions through compound nucleus formation.
Lectures (30 hours)
1. Electromagnetic transitions. The emission of photons. Description of decay probability by using the Fermi golden rule. The electromagnetic field as the solution of Maxwell's equations, quantization of the electromagnetic field.
2. Electromagnetic multipole transition operators, long-wave approximation. Reduced transition probability, selection rules for electromagnetic transitions.
3. Internal conversion, production of electron-positron pairs. Single-particle value of electromagnetic transitions.
4. Nuclear alpha decay, empirical Geiger-Nuttall relations. Quantum-mechanical description of the alpha decay.
5. Spontaneous and induced nuclear fission, bimodal mass distribution of fission fragments, fission barriers, the energy release.
6. Nuclear beta decay, parity nonconservation, electron capture, the Q value. The probability of beta decay transitions, Fermi and Gamow-Teller transitions, forbidden transitions.
7. Kurie diagram, application to determine the neutrino mass. Selection rules for the beta decay. The double beta decays.
8. Theoretical description of the structure of the atomic nucleus, nuclear shell model. Magic numbers. Nuclear mean field potential.
9. Single-particle potential in the harmonic oscillator approximation. Spin-orbit interaction.
10. Single-particle shell model for deformed nuclei, anisotropic harmonic oscillator, Nilsson quantum numbers. Nilsson Hamiltonian.
11. Density and shape oscillation in nuclei, exotic modes of excitation. Collective model for nuclear vibrations, Hamiltonian for multipole vibrations in nuclei.
12. Rotation model, Hill-Wheeler coordinates, Bohr Hamiltonian. Energy of rotation band, electromagnetic transitions within the band. Particles plus rotor model.
13. Nuclear reactions. Cross sections for Coulomb excitation.
14. Nuclear reactions through compound nucleus formation, Bohr's hypothesis.
15. Breit-Wigner formula for isolated resonances. Direct reactions, cross section in Born approximation.
Exercises (15 hours)
1. Radioactive decay of nuclei. The law of radioactive decay in general.
2. Radioactive decay chains.
3. Nuclear alpha decay.
4. Nuclear beta decay.
5. Nuclear gamma transitions.
6. The structure of the atomic nucleus. The shell model: single-particle states.
7. The shell model: tvo-particle wave function.
8. The shell model: magnetic quadrupole moment.
9. Collective models of the atomic nucleus: rotation model - introductory tasks.
10. Collective models of the atomic nucleus: rotation model - advanced tasks.
11. Nuclear reactions. Kinematics of two-particle nuclear reactions.
12. Elastic scattering.
13. Direct nuclear reactions.
14. Nuclear reactions with compound nucleus formation, resonant reactions.
15. Inverse nuclear reactions and the principle of detailed balance.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students are required to attend classes regularly, participate actively in solving problems in the exercises, solve the homework problems, take two written exams during the semester.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
During the semester students have to solve the homework problems independently and take two written exams. At the end of the semester students take the final oral exam.
- Samuel S. M. Wong, Introductory Nuclear Physics, Wiley-Interscience, 1999.
- - Kenneth S. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, Wiley-Interscience, 1987.
- Kris Heyde, Basic Ideas and Concepts in Nuclear Physics, Institute of Physics, 2004.
- Kris Heyde, From Nucleons to the Atomic Nucleus: Perspectives in Nuclear Physics, Springer Verlag, 2002.
- John Dirk Walecka, Theoretical Nuclear and Subnuclear Physics, Imperial College Press, 2004.