Level:Part II (yr 3)
Course Convenor:Dr V Cheianov
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Prior to PHYS321, the student must have successfully completed:
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CMod descriptionback to top
Binding energies. Cross sections. Energy levels, atomic
and nuclear. Photon emission, selection rules. Atomic fine structure.
Nuclear "fine" structure. Shell structure of atoms. Shell model of
nuclei. Inter-atomic forces. Nuclear forces. Atomic and nuclear magnetic
moments. Beta decay. The neutrino.
Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabusback to top
Revision of "one electron" atoms and the spin-orbit magnetic interaction. Identical particles and the Helium atom. Atoms with more than one electron in the outer shell, L - S (Russell - Saunders) and j - j coupling approximations. Application of quantum mechanics to atomic transitions and selection rules for decay processes.
Nuclear structure and stability, evidence for shell structure, the Fermi gas model and the single particle shell model. Predictions of the shell model for nuclear spins, parities and magnetic moments compared with experimental results.
The nuclear beta decay process. The Fermi and Gamow - Teller selection rules. A description of the beta decay rate and the electron energy spectrum in terms of a nuclear matrix element and a statistical factor. Parity non - conservation and the neutrino.
Curriculum Design: Pre-requisites/Co-requisites/Exclusionsback to top
Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
This module aims to:
- to teach atomic and nuclear physics at a level appropriate for third and fourth year honours students.
- to use the results of basic quantum mechanics to explain the basic characteristics of atomic and nuclear structure and to describe the processes of atomic transitions and nuclear decays.
- to explain the concept and importance of the parity of an atomic or nuclear state.
- to study the nuclear beta decay process and in particular the neutrino and parity non conservation.
Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skillsback to top
On completion of the module the student will be able to
- explain how quantum mechanics can be used to describe the ground states and excited states of atoms with two electrons in the outer shell, and how these ideas can be extended to describe the states of atoms with several such electrons via the Russell - Saunders and j - j approximations.
- apply quantum mechanics to the transitions between atomic states and to explain the origin of selection rules.
- recognise and discuss the basic physics of simple nuclear models and explain how the single particle shell model can be used to predict nuclear spins, parities and magnetic moments.
- discuss nuclear stability and decay processes, in particular beta decay and the non conservation of parity in beta decay.
- to be able to solve problems and perform elementary calculations on these topics.
Curriculum Design: Select Bibliographyback to top
(E) R M Eisberg and R Resnick Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei and Particles, Wiley.