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Introduction to nuclear physics and measurements

Prof. Nicolas Pauly – Université Libre de Bruxelles

3 ECTS

85,5 hours study time


  • 24 contact hours theory
  • 9 contact hours exercises/laboratory sessions/visits
  • 0 hours additional personal work (reading etc.)

    • To learn and understand the basic properties of a nucleus
    • To understand the role of conservation laws in decay processes and reactions
    • To learn the principles of neutron physics related to nuclear fission reactions
    • To describe interaction of radiation with matter
    • To describe characteristics of main particle detectors
    • Nuclear physics (10h)
      • Nuclear properties (nuclear radius; mass and abundance of nuclides; nuclear binding energy; nuclear exited states)
      • Elementary introduction to nuclear models (drop & shell)
      • Radioactive decay: radioactive decay law, radioactive mother-daughter chains, natural radioactive chains,  types of radioactive decay, units of radioactivity
      • Alpha, Beta and Gamma decay
      • Types of nuclear reactions: compound nucleus, threshold reactions, concept of cross section
    • Interactions of particles with matter (4h)
    • Nuclear detectors (8h)
    • Accelerators (2h)
  • The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures, and extensive lecture notes, are available on the BNEN website.

    Other useful references:

    • Krane, K.S. “Introductory Nuclear Physics”, John Wiley, 1987.
    • Tavernier, S. “Experimental techniques in nuclear and particle physics”, Springer-Verlag, 2010.
    • Knoll, G.F. “Radiation detection and measurement”, 4 ed., Wiley, 2010.
  • Bachelor level lectures on physics, mechanics, mathematics.

  • First and second session: written examination (closed book)
    Lab sessions are compulsory and count for 20% of the global mark (report + attendance). Lab
    sessions cannot be repeated in the second session

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