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Unit information: Fundamentals of Nuclear Science in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Fundamentals of Nuclear Science
Unit code PHYSM0028
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Heath
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Physics
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This course will give students a solid grounding in nuclear radiation, from the fundamentals of radiative decay to nuclear fission and fusion, with particular focus on those processes used in commercial nuclear reactors.

Students will gain an understanding of the most important types of radiation, why they occur and how they may be detected, with particular focus on the decay chains that are most prominent in the nuclear industry. The mathematical description of radiative flux, intensity and brilliance will be covered in detail.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  1. Describe the most common types of radioactive decay,
  2. Calculate the flux and brilliance of radiative sources
  3. Describe how to detect the various sources of radiation and how to calculate detection efficiencies,
  4. Explain the principles of dose, does limits, dosimetry and commercial uses for radiation
  5. Describe the fission and fusion processes and the energies involves in these processes,
  6. Demonstrate the role of neutrons and neutronics in the fission process.

Teaching Information

Formal teaching will mainly be through 24 hours of lectures supported by screencasts and podcasts to summarise key parts of the course.

3x 2 hour Problems classes will focus on numerical calculations.

Assessment Information

Formative feedback will be provided through problems classes

Summative feedback 1x2hour exam (100%)

Reading and References

K. J. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, (Wiley),

W. E. Burcham, Elements of Nuclear Physics, (Longman)