Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics

Graph showing the alpha particle wavefunction passing through a large nuclear potential barrier.

This graph depicts the Gamow model of alpha decay, in which an alpha particle tunnels through a Coulomb potential barrier. (Figure by Prof. Paola Cappellaro, inspired by a Wolfram blog post about creating xkcd-style Mathematica plots.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2012



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Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features a collection of interactive Mathematica CDF demos on the tools page.

Course Description

This class covers basic concepts of nuclear physics with emphasis on nuclear structure and interactions of radiation with matter. Topics include elementary quantum theory; nuclear forces; shell structure of the nucleus; alpha, beta and gamma radioactive decays; interactions of nuclear radiations (charged particles, gammas, and neutrons) with matter; nuclear reactions; fission and fusion.

Paola Cappellaro. 22.02 Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics, Spring 2012. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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