Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics

  • Class 45
  • Practice 15
  • Independent work 90
Total 150

Course title

Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics

Lecture type


Course code






Lecturers and associates

Course objectives

External properties of the atomic nucleus (charge, mass, size); Internal properties of the atomic nucleus (binding energy, spin, electrical and magnetic moment).
Nuclear potential and energy levels; Nuclear models (liquid drop model, shell model).
Cross section; Differential cross section; Reaction rate; Types of nuclear reactions and conservation laws.
Types of nuclear reactions and conservation laws; Kinematics of nuclear reactions (reaction Q value, threshold energy).
Fission nuclear reaction; Fusion nuclear reaction.
Radioactive decay law; Radioactive chains; Radiation doses.
Alpha decay; Beta decay; Gamma decay.
Midterm exam.
Interactions of heavy charged particles with matter; Interactions of electrons with matter.
Interactions of electrons with matter; Interactions of gamma rays with matter.
Interactions of gamma rays with matter; Interactions of neutrons with matter.
Detectors (gas-filled detectors, scintillation detectors, semiconductor detectors, chambers, neutron detectors); Accelerators (electrostatic accelerators, linear accelerators, cyclotron accelerators).
Applications of nuclear physics in industry; Applications of nuclear physics in medicine.
Fission nuclear reactors; Fusion nuclear reactors.
Final exam.

Required reading

Vladimir Knapp (1977.), Uvod u nuklearnu fiziku, Sveučilište u Zagrebu
K. Bethge (2007.), Kernphysik: Eine Einführung, Springer
R.M. Mayo (1988.), Introduction to Nuclear Concepts for Engineers, American Nuclear Society
K.S. Krane (1987.), Introductory Nuclear Physics, J. Wiley and sons
W.T. Hering (1999.), Angewandte Kernphysik, Teubner
W.N. Cottingham, D.A. Greenwood (2001.), An Introduction to Nuclear Physics, Cambridge University Press

Minimal learning outcomes

  • Explain external and internal properties of the atomic nucleus
  • Explain physical principles in nuclear reactions
  • Describe different types of nuclear reactions
  • Explain radioactive decay law and alpha, beta and gamma decay
  • Describe interaction of radiation with matter
  • Describe applications of nuclear physics: detectors, accelerators, fission and fusion nuclear reactors
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