22.101 is dedicated to foundational study of nuclear radiations - neutrons, gamma rays and charged particles and their interactions with matter. Of primary interest are the basic concepts of nuclear stability and reactive collision phenomena involving elementary quantum and classical mechanics, along with kinematics relations based on conservation laws. A signature focus is the understanding of cross sections and their use in various application areas relevant to the Department.

General Reference Texts

Krane, Kenneth S. Introductory Nuclear Physics. New York, NY: Wiley and Sons, 1987, pp. 845. ISBN: 9780471805533.

Meyerhof, Walter E. Elements of Nuclear Physics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1967, pp. 279. ISBN: 9780070417458.

Evans, Robley D. The Atomic Nucleus. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1982, pp. 972. ISBN: 9780898744149.

Grading Policy

Problem Sets 40%
Quizzes (20% each) 60%


1 Basic Nuclear Concepts
Quantum Mechanical Description of Nuclei
2 Schrödinger Wave Equation
3 Bound States in One Dimensional Systems – Particle in a Square Well Problem set 1 due
4 Bound States in Three Dimensions - Orbital Angular Momentum
5 Barrier Penetration Problem set 2 due two days after Lec #5
6 The Neutron-Proton System: Bound State of the Deuteron
7 Overview of Cross Section Calculation Problem set 3 due
8 Neutron-Proton Scattering
9 Quiz 1 Review Problem set 4 due
Quiz 1 (Lec #1-8, Closed Book)
Nuclear Binding, Stability and Decay
10 Nuclear Shell Model
11 Nuclear Binding Energy and Stability Problem set 5 due two days after Lec #11
12 Binding Energy and Mass Parabolas
Interaction of Radiation with Matter
13 Radioactive-Series Decay Problem set 6 due
14 Charged Particle Interactions: Stopping Power, Collision and Ionization
15 Charged Particle Interactions: Radiation Loss, Range
16 Neutron Interactions: Q-equation and Elastic Scattering
17 Quiz 2 Review Problem set 7 due
Quiz 2 (Lec #9-15, Closed Book)
18 Neutron Interactions: Energy, Angular Distributions, Thermal Motions
19 Gamma Interactions: Compton Scattering
20 Gamma Interactions: Photoelectric Effect and Pair Production
21 Detection of Nuclear Radiation: Pulse Height Spectra
Nuclear Processes
22 Nuclear Decays
23 Nuclear Reactions: Energetics and Compound Nucleus Problem set 8 due
24 Quiz 3 Review
Quiz 3 (Lec #16-21, Closed Book)