Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Physics and Astronomy


Dr Alexis Bishop



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


This unit provides part of a major in experimental physics. It consists of two 12-lecture sub-units and laboratory work. Key areas are:

  1. Nuclear Physics: nuclear systematics, nuclear forces, potentials and energy spectra, shell model concepts, with the aim of understanding the formation of low-lying excited states, nuclear decay modes, nucleon emission, beta decay and EM transitions.
  2. Elementary Particles: experimental methods used in contemporary particle physics and the fundamental properties that classify leptons, hadrons and quarks, the role of conservation laws and symmetry in the production of and interactions between elementary particles, quantum chromo-dynamics, strong and weak interactions, the cosmological implications.
  3. Laboratory work: experimental and/or computational laboratory work on relevant topics.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Nuclear Physics, which include the nuclear force, nuclear shell structure and alpha, beta and gamma decay processes.
  2. Describe concepts and perform calculations in Fundamental Particle Physics within the standard model, which include relativistic wave equations, symmetries and conservations laws, with applications to the electroweak and strong interactions.
  3. Solve new problems in physics related to the core concepts of the unit by drawing on the theoretical underpinnings that illustrate the physics.
  4. Perform measurements and analysis on experiments that demonstrate the theoretical physics described in this and other physics units.
  5. Produce experimental reports that present results, analyse and discuss the implications and outcomes of experimental work.


Examination (3 hours): 46%
Laboratory work: 34%
Assignments: 20%
Students must achieve a pass mark in the practical component to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

  • Two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour tutorial per week
  • An average of two hours in the laboratory per week
  • Seven hours of independent study per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHS2011 or PHS2061, and PHS2022 or PHS2062, and MTH2032, and either MTH2010 or MTH2015. Recommended: PHS2081.