Physics and astronomy

Nuclear and Particle Physics

Module code: F3221
Level 6
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Workshop, Class, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module on nuclear and particle physics covers:

  • Chronology of discoveries.
  • Basic nuclear properties.
  • Nuclear forces.
  • Models of nuclear structure.
  • Magic numbers.
  • Nuclear reactions, nuclear decay and radioactivity, including their roles in nature.
  • The weak force.
  • Existence and properties of neutrinos.
  • Qualitative introduction to neutrino oscillations.
  • C, P and T symmetries.
  • Classification of elementary particles, and their reactions and decays.
  • Particle structure.
  • Qualitative introduction to Feynman diagrams.


Level 5: (F3239) Quantum Mechanics 1 [T2].

Level 6: (F3211) Atomic Physics [T1]

Module learning outcomes

  • To make calculations involving precise nuclear masses & energies and to predict ground state nuclear spins and parities using the shell model.
  • To distinguish types of nuclear decay processes and to make quantitative calculations on radioactivity.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the four fundamental types of inter-particle forces and their symmetry properties.
  • To classify elementary particles and their reaction and decay processes and to know how the classifications are explained in terms of quarks, leptons and fundamental forces.