Nuclear Physics 1

Nuclear Physics 1

Code: 84969
ECTS: 7.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Nils Paar - Lectures
Lecturers: Deni Vale - Exercises
Take exam: Studomat

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Exercises 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)

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.

Acquiring basic knowledge of nucleosynthesis, the role of thermonuclear reactions and weak interaction processes in the evolution of stars, the nucleon-nucleon interaction, the global properties of atomic nuclei. Gaining knowledge 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 strong, weak, and electromagnetic force.

Providing students the basic knowledge and entry competences for the course Nuclear Physics 2. Together with the course successor, Nuclear physics 2, the goal is to provide students the basic knowledge and entry competencies for specialist courses on fourth and fifth years of study (Medical Physics, Nuclear Astrophysics, Nuclear Structure , Nuclear Physics Laboratory, Structure of Nucleons, Hadron 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.



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


2.1 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


4.3 use English as the language of communication in the profession, the use of literature, and writing scientific papers and articles


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


Upon completion of the course the student will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of the basic concepts of stellar evolution, the basic reactions in nucleosynthesis, which includes primordial nucleosynthesis, nucleosynthesis in stars and processes during the evolution of a supernova.
2. Distinguish and explain the properties of different stars in the framework of nuclear physics; the Sun, red giants, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and so on.
3. Explain the structure of nucleons, conservation laws, and isospin.
4. Explain the general form of the nucleon-nucleon interaction starting from symmetries and experimental data on nucleon-nucleon scattering.
5. Explain the role and properties of neutrinos in the context of nuclear processes, as well as the methods for their detection.
6. Connect the most important experimental results on scattering with the properties of nuclear effective interactions and bulk properties of nuclei.
7. Demonstrate knowledge of the properties of the deuteron, to apply quantum mechanics to describe static electric and magnetic moments deuteron.
8. Apply quantum physics and classical electrodynamics in describing the electric and magnetic moments of the atomic nucleus.
9. Demonstrate knowledge of basic bulk properties of atomic nucleus in the context of relevant experiments and phenomenological formalism, in particular the shape, dimensions of the nucleus, and binding energy.


Lectures (30 hours)

1. Nucleosynthesis in the universe. Element abundances in the solar system. The primordial nucleosynthesis. The evolution of the universe after the Big Bang.
2. Evolution of the stars. The condition of hydrostatic equilibrium. The model of linear density of stars. Gravitational potential in stars. Description of the stars on the approximation of the ideal gas. Virial theorem applied in the stars. Luminosity of stars.
3. The main sequence of stars. Hertzprung-Russell diagram. Nucleosynthesis in stars, hydrogen burning, PP chains, CNO cycles. The role of strong and weak interactions in nucleosynthesis.
4. Nuclear burning in stars, from helium, carbon, oxygen, etc. to iron. Photonuclear distribution of elements in the hot stars.
5. Production of neutrinos in the stars. Solar neutrinos. Neutrino detectors based on neutrino capture in nuclei. Interaction of neutrinos with the atomic nuclei.
6. White dwarfs, degenerate gas of electrons and equilibrium condition, the pressure in the center of the white dwarf, the dependence of the radius of the mass of the white dwarf.
7. Neutron star, equilibrium condition, relativistic effects. Rotation of neutron stars, pulsars.
8. Evolution of supernova nucleosynthesis , electron capture, the collapse of the stars, the diffusion of neutrinos, neutrino capture, development of a shock wave, supernova explosions, observation of neutrinos from a supernova.
9. Nucleosynthesis of heavy chemical elements. Slow and fast neutron capture processes (s-process, r-process), quick proces of proton capture (rp-process) in an environment of binary stars, the cosmic X-ray radiation.
10. Structure of nucleons, conservation laws, leptons and weak interactions, nucleon isospin, pion isospin triplet, isospin of antiparticles. Hypernuclei.
11. Deuteron, global properties, spin, isospin, symmetry and deuteron wave function. The magnetic dipole moment, mixing of S and D states of the deuteron. Electric quadrupole moment of the deuteron. Tensor force and deuteron D state.
12. Symmetries and nucleon-nucleon interaction. The general form of the nucleon-nucleon interaction.
13. Global properties of nuclei. Dimensions of nuclei, matter and charge distributions. Scattering of electrons on nuclei, the charge form factor, determining the radius of the nucleus. Muon atom, scattering of pions on nuclei.
14. The shape of atomic nucleus, electric and magnetic multipole moments.
15. Spin and isospin of the ground state of nucleus. Isobaric analog states. Nuclear binding energy. Stable and radioactive nuclei. Weiszaecker semi-empirical mass formula.

Exercises (15 hours):

1. Symmetries in nuclear physics and algebra of angular momentum. Infinitesimal rotations in classical and quantum mechanics, algebra of angular momentum.
2. D-functions, Wigner D-matrix.
3. Addition of two angular momenta, Clebsh-Gordan coefficients, 3j-symbol.
4. Spherical tensor operators, Wigner-Eckart theorem.
5. Nuclear concepts of relevance for astrophysics (Coulomb and centrifugal barriers, S-factor).
6. Nuclear concepts of relevance for astrophysics (the speed of the reaction, Gamow energy).
7. Hydrogen and helium burning, burning of heavier nuclei.
8. White dwarfs, neutron stars.
9. Nucleon-nucleon scattering and cross sections.
10. Nucleon-nucleon interaction.
11. Form-factors of atomic nuclei.
12. Bulk properties of atomic nuclei. The mass and binding energy of atomic nuclei - introductory tasks.
13. The mass and binding energy of atomic nuclei - advanced tasks.
14. Determination of radii of atomic nuclei.
15. Electric quadrupole moment of the nucleus.

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.


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.
  1. Samuel S. M. Wong, Introductory Nuclear Physics, Wiley-Interscience, 1999.
  2. - 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.
Prerequisit for:
Enrollment :
Passed : Classical Electrodynamics
Passed : Quantum Physics
7. semester
Mandatory course - Mandatory studij - Physics
Consultations schedule:


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