3 x 50-minute lectures weekly
3 x 6-hour laboratories per semester
Enrolment not permitted
PHYS8701 has been successfully completed
Topic description
This topic provides an introduction to Nuclear Physics and Statistical Mechanics. Lectures are supplemented with laboratory classes to aid learning outcomes.

The material to be taught in this topic will consist of a selection from the following lists:

Nuclear Physics: Basic properties of Nuclei, Scattering Theory, Nucleon-Nucleon Forces, Nuclear Models, Radioactive Decay, Nuclear Reactions, Fission, Fusion, Nuclear Astrophysics, Elementary Particles

Statistical Mechanics: Classical and Quantum Distributions, Microcanonical, Canonical, and Grand Canonical Ensembles, Equipartition Theorem, Fermi Gas, Bose Gas, Blackbody Radiation, Debye Theory, Bose-Einstein Condensation
Educational aims
The aim of this topic is to give students a sound understanding of Nuclear and Statistical Physics. In addition, it aims to enhance students understanding, while developing their problem solving abilities, by including topic-specific problem solving exercises. Similarly, the students laboratory based work is aimed to both enhance their understanding and to develop their experimental skills.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

Statistical Mechanics:

  1. Derive the Maxwell-Boltzmann, Fermi-Dirac, and Bose-Einstein Distributions
  2. Understand and use various Statistical Ensembles to calculate thermodynamic quantities
  3. Define and use the Partition Function
  4. Derive the Equation of State for classical and quantum gases
  5. Use the Equipartition Theorem to predict energies of various systems
  6. Describe Fermion gases at zero and finite temperatures
  7. Describe Bose gases at zero and finite temperatures
  8. Use and understand the concept of phonons to describe vibrational energies of solids
Nuclear Physics:

  1. Describe the basic features of nuclei
  2. Understand and be able to use scattering theory to describe 2-body elastic cross sections and phase shifts
  3. Make simple potential models of the nucleon-nucleon force
  4. Qualitatively describe the Nuclear Shell and Collective Models
  5. Describe the basic properties of alpha, beta, and gamma decays
  6. Have a basic knowledge of nuclear fission and fusion and their applications
  7. Appreciate the role Nuclear Physics plays in Astrophysics
  8. Complete related laboratory experiments