PHY 492: Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics

 -- Course Description

Scheduled Time & Place: 9:05-10:02 M W F, 1308BPS

Instructor: Pawel Danielewicz
Office: 223 Cyclotron
Phone: 333-6330 (5-9672 x. 330 from campus)
Office Hours: 11:20-12:10 M W (or by appointment)


Required: W. S. C. Williams, Nuclear and Particle Physics (Oxford University Press)

On reserve in Physics Library:
K. K. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics
H. Frauenfelder and E. M. Henley, Subatomic Physics
D. H. Perkins, Introduction to High Energy Physics
R. N. Cahn and G. Goldhaber, The Experimental Foundations of High-Energy Physics
CRC Handbook of Physics and Chemistry

Grading (approximate): Homework - 30%, Recitations - 30%, Term Paper - 40%

Average time spent per week on the course is expected at about 10h:
Class - 3h, Reading - 3h, Homework - 4h.

Lecture-Recitation Plan: Lectures - M W, Recitations - F
Students will be assigned presentations of solutions to homework problems at the recitation sessions; these sessions are not optional!

Term Paper:
Physics 492 is supposed to fulfill the Tier II writing requirement for physics majors. Therefore a term paper is assigned. The paper should be 20-30 pages long and include equations and figures. It will be graded on style and grammar as well as content and presentation. The paper should be on a topic from nuclear or particle physics, at the level of a Scientific American article, scientifically literate but not too technical.
The first step is to choose a topic for your paper. The topic should not be too narrow, but not too broad either. E.g. you should not embark on presenting the history of nuclear and/or particle physics. If you already have a topic of interest for you in nuclear or high-energy physics, you may choose it. Otherwise, you should search for a topic that would interest you. The possible sources include: the textbook, the books on reserve, other books and articles that you can find using the library's on-line searches (such as Web of Science and INSPEC, besides the plain Magic), Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science. The last days of classes will be devoted to the presentation of the term papers.

Tentative Schedule for Term Paper:
Date Due
Feb. 3, Mon Topic w/brief description of planned content
Feb. 24, Mon Outline, list of research to be done
Mar. 14, Fri Progress report
Apr. 4, Fri First draft
Apr. 16, Wed Final paper
Apr. 16(?)-25 Paper presentation

Planned Topics

  1. Introduction
  2. Nuclear Physics
    1. Introduction
      1. Discovery of the Electron
      2. Discovery of the Nucleus
      3. Review of Special Relativity
      4. Radioactive Decay
    2. Nuclear Sizes from Electron Scattering
    3. Nuclear Mass and Binding Energy
    4. Radioactivity
      1. Modes of Decay
      2. Beta Decay
      3. Alpha Decay
    5. Nuclear Reactions
      1. Kinematics
      2. Discovery of the Neutron
      3. Fusion. CNO Cycle
    6. Shell Model of Nuclear Structure
      1. Magic Numbers
      2. Quantum Numbers of Ground and Excited States
  3. High Energy Physics
    1. Introduction
      1. Feynman Diagrams
      2. The Yukawa Theory
      3. Kinematics of High-Energy Reactions
    2. Hadrons in the Quark Model
      1. Quark Model
      2. Experimental Evidence for Quarks
      3. Confinement
    3. Weak Interactions
      1. The Fermi Theory of b Decay
      2. Neutrino
      3. W and Z Gauge Bosons
      4. Parity Violation
  4. Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics

Please note:
The term paper is due on Wednesday, April 16.

Homework: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Suppl. Reading: Prehistory of Nuclear Physics
Schedule of Term Paper Presentations