Basic Concepts in Nuclear Physics (Slides)

Binding energies, Radii, Conservation rules, Nuclear chart table

(Fundamentals in nuclear physics, Basdevant, Rich, Spiro - Chap.1 and 2)

Liquid Drop ModelShell Model, Isospin

Introduction to Radiation Processes (Slides)

Radioactive Decay, Decay law, Activity, Decay chains and daughter activities, Half-lives, 

Natural radioactivity, Radiation measures, Rocks dating, Radiocarbon dating

(Fenomeni Radioattivi, Bendiscioli - Chap.1, 2, 3) 

Bateman Equations

(American Journal Physics

Quantum Radioactive Decay

Fermi Golden rule

(Modern Quantum Physics, Sakurai, pgs. 316-333)

Beta Decay (Slides)

General properties of the weak interaction, Parity non conservation, Transition rates, ft values, Neutrino mass measurements, Allowed processes, Forbidden processes, Selection rules 

(Fenomeni Radioattivi, Bendiscioli - Chap.7, 8 and 9)

More materials: 

Alpha Decay (Slides)

General properties, Systematics, Gamow theory, Selection rules 

(Alpha Decay, Heyde - Chap. 4; 

for the WKB theory see Introduction to Quantum Mechanics, Griffiths - Chap. 8)

Gamma Decay (Slides)

General properties of gamma radiation, dipole transition and selection rules 

(Basic Ideas and Concepts in Nuclear Physics, Heyde - Chap. 6) 

History of Nuclear Fission (Slides) 

(American Scientific special issue and History of neutron discovery, Reed)

Theory of Nuclear fission (Slides) 

(Introductory Nuclear Physics, Krane - Chap. 13,

and The Bohr-Wheeler spontaneous fission limit, Reed with appendix)

Neutron Cross sections (Slides)

Chain Reaction and Reactors (Slides) 

Four-factor formula, Diffusion equation, Prompt and delayed neutrons, Xe135 poisoning and overview of power reactor 

(Principles of Nuclear Physics, Lilley - Chap. 10)


Chicago Pile history, Oklo - The First Nuclear Reactor (Slides) 

(The First reactorLa pila di Fermi, Salvetti; The first pileThe natural nuclear reactor at Oklo, Karam; The workings of an ancient nuclear reactor, Meshik; A natural fission reactor, Cowan)

Uranium (Slides)

Mining, production, enrichment, reprocessing, waste disposal and economy 

(Nuclear Energy, Bodansky; Uranium Red Book

Nuclear Physics in Italy (Slides) 

Nuclear Accidents (Slides)


Nuclear Fusion 

Basic properties, energetics of a fusion reactor, Debye frequency, Larmor radius, magnetic confinement or magnetic bottle, Z-pinch, Theta-pinch 

(Plasma Physics, Miyamoto; Hand-written Notes by Atzeni and The Physics of Fusion Power, McMillan)

Technological applications of Nuclear Fusion (Slides 1 and 2)

Lawson criterion, more about energetics of a reactor 

(The Physics of Inertial Fusion, Atzeni - Chap. 1; Principles of Fusion Energy, Chap. 8 - Harms). 

Toroidal machines and Tokamas 

(Principles of Fusion Energy, Chap. 10 - Harms and The Physics of Fusion Power, McMillan)

Tokamaks, Stellarators and ITER 

(Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy, Freidberg and  The Physics of Fusion Power, McMillan); 

Inertial Confinement and NIF 

(An Introduction to Inertial Confinement FusionPrinciples of Fusion Energy, Chap. 11 - Harms and Rayleigh-Taylor Instability notes)

Military applications: Manhattan Project and Nuclear Bombs (Slides 1 & 2)

(Los ALamos Primer, R. Serber; Wikipages on Fat Man and Little BoyThe Physics of the Manhattan Project, C. Reed and appendix)

Additional material:

1) Amaldi, From the discovery of the neutron to the discovery of nuclear fission

2) Kievsky and Girlanda Modellistica Nucleare e Interazione Radiazione-Materia

© University of Bologna 2015