Fundamentals of Nuclear Physics

Course Description

External and internal properties of the atomic nucleus. Nuclear forces. Models of the atomic nucleus. Cross section. Nuclear decays and radioactivity. Interaction of heavy charged particles, electrons, photons and neutrons with matter. Radiation detection and radiation protection. Dosimetry. Applications of nuclear physics.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain external and internal properties of the atomic nucleus
  2. Explain physical principles in nuclear reactions
  3. Describe different types of nuclear reactions
  4. Explain radioactive decay law and alpha, beta and gamma decay
  5. Describe interaction of radiation with matter
  6. Describe applications of nuclear physics: detectors, accelerators, fission and fusion nuclear reactors

Forms of Teaching


Lectures with exercises and presentations in two cycles of 7 and 6 weeks.

Seminars and workshops

Non mandatory seminar.


Solving problems.

Partial e-learning

Questions and answers after seminar presentations.

Grading Method

Continuous Assessment Exam
Type Threshold Percent of Grade Threshold Percent of Grade
Seminar/Project 0 % 30 % 0 % 30 %
Mid Term Exam: Written 0 % 35 % 0 %
Final Exam: Written 0 % 35 %
Exam: Written 0 % 70 %

Week by Week Schedule

  1. External properties of the atomic nucleus (charge, mass, size), Internal properties of the atomic nucleus (binding energy, spin, electrical and magnetic moment)
  2. Nuclear potential and energy levels, Nuclear models (liquid drop model, shell model)
  3. Cross section; Differential cross section; Reaction rate, Types of nuclear reactions and conservation laws
  4. Types of nuclear reactions and conservation laws, Kinematics of nuclear reactions (reaction Q value, threshold energy)
  5. Fission nuclear reaction, Fusion nuclear reaction
  6. Radioactive decay law; Radioactive chains; Radiation doses
  7. Alpha decay, Beta decay, Gamma decay
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Interactions of heavy charged particles with matter, Interactions of electrons with matter
  10. Interactions of electrons with matter, Interactions of gamma rays with matter
  11. Interactions of gamma rays with matter, Interactions of neutrons with matter
  12. Detectors (gas-filled detectors, scintillation detectors, semiconductor detectors, chambers, neutron detectors), Accelerators (electrostatic accelerators, linear accelerators, cyclotron accelerators)
  13. Applications of nuclear physics in industry, Applications of nuclear physics in medicine
  14. Fission nuclear reactors, Fusion nuclear reactors
  15. Final exam

Study Programmes

University undergraduate
[FER3-EN] Computing - study
Elective Courses (6. semester)
[FER3-EN] Electrical Engineering and Information Technology - study
Elective Courses (6. semester)


Vladimir Knapp (1977.), Uvod u nuklearnu fiziku, Sveučilište u Zagrebu
K. Bethge (2007.), Kernphysik: Eine Einführung, Springer
R.M. Mayo (1988.), Introduction to Nuclear Concepts for Engineers, American Nuclear Society
K.S. Krane (1987.), Introductory Nuclear Physics, J. Wiley & sons
W.T. Hering (1999.), Angewandte Kernphysik, Teubner
W.N. Cottingham, D.A. Greenwood (2001.), An Introduction to Nuclear Physics, Cambridge University Press

Associate Lecturers

For students


ID 223373
  Summer semester
L3 English Level
L2 e-Learning
45 Lectures
0 Seminar
15 Exercises
0 Laboratory exercises
0 Project laboratory

Grading System

85 Excellent
70 Very Good
60 Good
50 Acceptable