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PH2240 - Atomic and Nuclear Physics

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

An understanding of the nature of atoms is developed by examining the basic quantum mechanical model for the electronic structure of atoms. Central to this model is the interaction of atoms with light and electric and magnetic fields. Applications that are important for our standards of time and length will be discussed. We then delve further into the atom and examine the structure of the nucleus. The basic concepts and theories of nuclear physics are developed as well as an understanding of the applications of nuclear science. Topics in atomic and nuclear physics covered include: Fundamentals of atomic structure: The hydrogen atom; Describing multi-electron atoms: Spin-Orbit Coupling; Atomic Radiation; Atoms in Magnetic Fields; Applications of Atomic Physics; Nuclear properties; Nuclear models; Nuclear reactions; Radiation detectors; Biological Effects of radiation; and Applications selected from the following: medicine, nuclear power production, industrial applications & environmental issues.

Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and laws fundamental to the electronic and nuclear structure of atoms;
  • solve mathematical and numerical problems related to the structure of atoms and the effect of ionizing radiation on the body and the environment;
  • exhibit an appreciation of the influence of atomic and nuclear physics on modern scientific development, and describe its role and relevance in everyday living;
  • undertake laboratory work by gathering, analysing, and documenting experimental and observational data through various aspects related to both atomic and nuclear physics.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (50%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Log/logbook - (20%) - Individual
  • Written > Problem task - (10%) - Individual.
Prerequisites: PH2002 AND MA1003


Townsville, Study Period 2, Internal
Census Date 24-Aug-2023
Coordinator: Professor Ronald White
Lecturer: Dr Greg Boyle.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 39 hours lectures
  • 13 hours tutorials
  • 15 hours workshops
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.