22.02 | Spring 2012 | Undergraduate
Introduction to Applied Nuclear Physics

Syllabus

Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session

Course Description and Objectives

The course introduces the fundamental principles that underline nuclear science and its engineering applications, as well as mathematical tools needed to grasp these concepts. Applications to nuclear science and engineering will be used to illustrate these (often abstract) principles.

The goal of this class is to give you the tools to further continue your exploration in nuclear science and engineering. After taking this class, you will able to study (and understand) any application of nuclear and radiation science you wish to specialize in.

Prerequisities

8.02 Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism

8.03 Physics III: Vibrations and Waves

18.02 Calculus II

Some linear algebra will be needed (e.g. 18.06 Linear Algebra), as well as the ability to apply mathematical concepts to physical problems. A review of some math background will be given in recitation.

Textbooks

Required: Krane, Kenneth S. Introductory Nuclear Physics. 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons, 1987. ISBN: 9780471805533.

Recommended: Griffiths, David J. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics. 2nd ed. Addison-Wesley, 2004. ISBN: 9780131118928.

Grading

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Class participation 5%
Homework: 9 problem sets 25%
Midterm exam 30%
Final exam 40%

Calendar

LEC # TOPICS KEY DATES
1–2

1. Introduction to Nuclear Physics

  • Nuclear nomenclature
  • Binding energy and semi-empirical mass formula
  • Radioactive decay

 
3–6

2. Introduction to Quantum Mechanics

  • Laws of quantum mechanics
  • States, operators, and eigenvalues
  • Measurement and probability
  • Energy eigenvalue problem
  • Operators and Uncertainty problem

Problem set 1 due @ Lecture 5
7–8

3. Radioactive Decay, Part I

  • Scattering and tunneling in quantum mechanics
  • Alpha decay

Problem set 2 due @ Lecture 7
9–13

4. Energy Levels

  • Bound problems
  • Quantum mechanics in 3D: angular momentum
  • Identical particles

Problem set 3 due @ Lecture 10

Problem set 4 due @ Lecture 12

  Midterm exam (through Lecture 11)  
14–16

5. Nuclear Structure

  • Characteristics of the nuclear force
  • The deuteron
  • Nuclear models

Problem set 5 due @ Lecture 14

Problem set 6 due @ Lecture 16

17–18

6. Time Evolution in Quantum Mechanics

  • Time-dependent Schrödinger equation
  • Fermi’s Golden Rule

Problem set 7 due @ Lecture 18
19–20

7. Radioactive Decay, Part II

  • Gamma decay
  • Beta decay

Problem set 8 due @ Lecture 20
21–25

8. Applications of Nuclear Science

  • Interaction of radiation with matter
  • Fusion
  • Fission

Problem set 9 due @ Lecture 23
  Final exam  
Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
assignment Problem Sets
grading Exams with Solutions
notes Lecture Notes
laptop_windows Simulations