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ATOM7001 - Atomic and Nuclear Physics

Title:Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Long Title:Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Module Code:ATOM7001
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Intermediate
Field of Study: Atomic & Molecular Physics
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2011/12 ( September 2011 )
Module Delivered in no programmes
Module Coordinator: Donagh OMahony
Module Author:  
Module Description: The module begins by explaining how concepts of space and time were radically altered by Einstein in his “Special Theory of Relativity”. This is followed by a detailed review of how the new concept of the quantum was used to develop the notion of the nuclear atom, which, in turn, underpins much of modern device, communications and energy technology. The module closes with a brief overview of particle physics and current thinking in cosmology.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Explain and calculate relativistic corrections to measurements of length, time and mass;
LO2 Explain the relationship between mass and energy and its applications in e.g. nuclear fission and fusion;
LO3 Describe and explain the development of the nuclear model of the atom, in terms of the quantum;
LO4 Classify atomic and sub-atomic particles and the interactions between them.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
4408 PHYS6012 Physics
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No Co Requisites listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Special Relativity
Frames of reference: Michelson-Morley experiment; Einstein's postulates: special relativity; Co-ordinate transformations: Galilean and Lorentzian; Length contraction, time dilation, twin paradox; Relativistic mechanics: mass-energy.
Semi-Classical Quantum Theory
Particle nature of waves: atomic spectra, black-body radiation, photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, pair production; Particle-wave duality: De Broglie waves, Davisson-Germer; Wave function representation: wave number k, mass density; Particle in a box; Heisenberg uncertainty principle.
Atomic Physics
Nuclear atom: Rutherford scattering; nuclear dimensions; Hydrogen atom: stability of electron orbits, energy levels, spectra; Correspondence principle.
Nuclear and Elementary Particle Physics
Nucleus structure: size, binding energy, stability; Subatomic particles & forces: electron, proton, neutron; Sources: particle accelerators & cosmic rays; Classification schemes: baryons & mesons; Fundamental particles: quarks & leptons; Grand unified theories; cosmology.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Essay Sample topic e.g. Special Relativity 1,2 25.0 Week 6
Open-book Examination Theory assessment 1,2 25.0 Week 6
Essay Sample topic e.g. Nuclear Fuels 3,4 25.0 Week 12
Open-book Examination Theory assessment 3,4 25.0 Week 12
No End of Module Formal Examination
Reassessment Requirement
Coursework Only
This module is reassessed solely on the basis of re-submitted coursework. There is no repeat written examination.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Delivery of module content 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Delivery of module content 1.0 Every Week 1.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Study and homework 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Supplementary Book Resources
  • M. Mansfield and C. O’Sullivan 1998, Understanding Physics, Wiley
  • D. Halliday, R. Resnick and J. Walker, Fundamentals of Physics, 1997 Ed., Wiley [ISBN: ISBN 0-471-10559-7]
  • J. Sanny and W. Moebs 1996, University Physics, WCB
  • K. Cummins, P. Laws, E. Redish and P. Cooney 2004, Understanding Physics, Wiley
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

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Email: help@cit.edu.ie