Objective: This last part of the core course in physics is devoted to a brief introduction to nuclear phenomena.
The course builds on previous lectures in Quantum Physics and Statistical Physics. It provides basic knowledge to enable students to understand phenomena such as radioactive decay, the properties of nuclei, nuclear energy, antimatter and fundamental particles.
Such knowledge is becoming increasingly important in our scientific, economic and social environment. Emphasis is placed on applications, particularly in geology (radioactive dating, nucleosynthesis) and energy studies (nuclear fuels, radioprotection). The course provides a coherent body of knowledge for the non-specialized engineer as well as a sound basis for specialized courses in Nuclear Physics, Atomic Engineering, Particle Physics or Cosmology.
Programme: 1) Matter and Antimatter: space-time and matter-antimatter in relativistic quantum physics- Klein-Gordon and Dirac equations - spin - particles and antiparticles - applications.
2) Matter constituents and interactions: elementary particles, their charges and interactions - gauge invariance - the Standard Model.
3) Weak Interaction: general properties - decays -discrete symmetries - cross section - neutrinos.
4) Nuclei and radioactivity: properties - nuclear reactions - binding energy - radioactivity: alpha, beta and gamma decays.
5) Nuclear Energy: fissile and fertile materials - fission and fusion - protection against radiation - applications of radioactivity.
6) Nucleosynthesis: stellar and explosive nucleosynthesis - gravitational collapse - white dwarfs - neutron stars - the expansion of the Universe - primordial nucleosynthesis - dark matter - dark energy.
Requirements : The course builds on the first year lectures in Relativity and Quantum Physics and in Statistical Physics.
Evaluation mechanism : The evaluation is based on a written examination.
Last Modification : Friday 8 February 2013