53046 - Nuclear Physics - Ydinfysiikka - Kärnfysik

Course Programme, Fall 2015

Lectures: Tue & Thu 12-14 Sh115 Accelerator Laboratory,
Exercises: Thu 16-18 Sh115 Pietari Kalmin katu 2
Enrollment: WebOodi
Teachers: 1.9. to 15.10. Jouni Niskanen Physicum, room C323 02941 50534
27.10. to 10.12. Pertti Tikkanen Acc. Lab, room 135A 02941 50006

Course information

The course gives a general introduction to the rich (quantum-mechanical) phenomena and processes of nuclear physics 
and how they form the structure of matter both at the sub-atomic and cosmic scales.
The basic experimental methods are also introduced.
The course programme of the Part II can be found here.

Course contents

How information on characteristic properties of nuclei is obtained, e.g., nuclear masses, nuclear sizes.
Basics of nuclear models: liquid drop model, shell model, collective model.
Basics of reactions: compound nucleus and direct reactions, resonances.
Two-nucleon system and nuclear interaction, deuteron.
Radioactive decay and nuclear transmutations.
Electromagnetic transitions and excitations.
Nuclear astrophysics and stellar evolution.
Experimental methods: accelerators, interaction of radiation with matter, detection of radiation.
See also detailed list of contents.


The courses 53337-Structure of Matter and 53703-Basics of Quantum Physics (or equivalent) are assumed as a prerequisite.

Quantum mechanics I (53716) is extremely recommendable.

Textbooks and related course material

Carlos A. Bertulani Nuclear Physics in a Nutshell (Also as e-book) © Princeton University Press 2007
B. Alex Brown Lecture Notes in Nuclear Structure Physics (login with your credentials to download) © Michican State University 2011
Kris L. G. Heyde Basic Ideas and Concepts in Nuclear Physics; an introductory approach © IOP Publishing 2004

For a rather more thorough review of the textbooks available, consult this page.

Bertulani does not have nuclear data tables (masses, abundance/half-life, spin, parity).  In case of a need for these data e.g. in exercises
look for e.g. Krane (of the above list), Krane: Modern Physics, Tipler&Llewellyn: Modern Physics (all among handbooks) or
Brehm&Mullin: Intr. to the Structure of Matter (among textbooks) or Enge (of the list, in nuclear physics section).
There are even more sources, but it is best always to give the reference when you use these data.
The recommended Internet resource for the most recent and continuously updated experimental nuclear data
is at National Nuclear Data Base, Brookhaven (USA). The European version of the database can be found at IAEA, Vienna.

Lecture Notes

The lecture notes are uploaded here (hopefully a few days in advance)

Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Lecture 3 Lecture 4 Lecture 5 Lecture 6
Lecture 7 Lecture 8 Lecture 9 Lecture 10 Lecture 11 Lecture 12
Lecture 13 Lecture 14 Lecture 15 Lecture 16 Lecture 17 Lecture 18
Lecture 19 Lecture 20 Lecture 21 Lecture 22 Lecture 23 Lecture 24


The problem session time has been moved back to Thursday 16-18!

The solutions should be tentatively turned in for grading by Wednesday before 16:00 o'clock in
the pigeonhole marked "Nuclear Physics" in the grey metal cabinet
in the 2nd floor lobby of the Physicum A-wing.

Exercise 1 Exercise 2 Exercise 3 Exercise 4 Exercise 5 Exercise 6
Exercise 7 Exercise 8 Exercise 9 Exercise 10 Exercise 11 Exercise 12 Exercise 13

Solutions to Homework problems

Solutions 7 Solutions 8 Solutions 9 Solutions 10 Solutions 11 Solutions 12 Solutions 13

Table of Clebsch-Gordan coefficients, spherical harmonics, gradients, Pauli and Dirac matrices
Calculator for Wigner 3-j, 6-j and 9-j symbols
Table of useful relations
Plotting in Python

Updated Dec. 11th, 2015 by Pertti Tikkanen