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PH4041   Atomic, Nuclear, and Particle Physics

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 09.00 Mon, Wed, Fri (TBC)

The aim of this module is to describe in terms of appropriate models, the structure and properties of the atom, including its nucleus, the classification of fundamental particles and the means by which they interact. The syllabus includes: electron cloud model of an atom, electron spin and magnetic moment, spin-orbit interactions, revision of single-electron atom and brief qualitative extension to multi-electron atoms, selection rules and line intensities for electric-dipole transitions; nuclear sizes, binding energy, properties of the strong nuclear force; radioactivity, the semi-empirical mass formula; nuclear stability, the shell model, magic numbers; energetics of beta-decay, alpha-decay and spontaneous fission; nuclear reactions, resonances; fission; electroweak and colour interactions, classification of particles as intermediate bosons, leptons or hadrons. Standard model of leptons and quarks.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH2011 and pass PH2012 and pass MT2501 and pass MT2503 and ( pass PH3081 or pass PH3082 ) or ( pass MT2506 and pass MT2507 ) and pass PH3061 and pass PH3062

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take PH4022 and take PH4037 and take PH4040

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures per week with total of 3 replaced by a tutorial

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 118

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 95%, Coursework (quizzes) = 5%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 5%
Coursework: 95%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module coordinator: Dr A Kohnle
Module teaching staff: Dr A Kohnle, Dr D Cassettari

Additional information from school

Please see also the information in the School’s Handbook for Honours modules available via This link also gives access to timetables for the modules.