Select Academic Year:     2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023
Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[60/60]  PHYSICS [60/00 - Ord. 2012]  PERCORSO COMUNE 9 72


1. knowledge and understanding
To understand the basic phenomenological properties of nuclear subnuclear physics.

2. applying knowledge and understanding
To get a working knowledge (order of magnitude calculations) of the estimate basic quantities of nuclear and elementary particle physics.

3. making judgements
Solving the assignments will stimulate the development of skills in autonomous judgement.

4. communication skills
Students will learn the proper language for particle physics.

5. learning skills
This course is an introduction to nuclear and particle physics. More specific courses are proposed in the Laurea Magistrale. Students will be able to learn the topics of these courses thanks to the basis learnt in this introductory course.


The main tools we need are those of quantum mechanics and basic elements of special relativity.

This knowledge, if not otherwise known to the students, will be provided as needed.


System of units. Cross section and mean free path.

Special relativity. Basic elements on Lorentz transformations and four-vectors. Relativistic kinematics. Scattering processes. Mandelstam variables. Rapidity and its properties. Basic elements of Dirac equation.

Accelerators. Sources. Static accelerators. Acceleration with variable fields. Linac, cyclotron, betatron, syncrotron. Focussing. Beam stability. Luminosity. Fixed target experiments and colliders.

Fermi golden rule. Exchange interaction model. Yukawa potential. Coupling constant and boson propagator.
Feynman diagrams. Electromagnetic, weak and strong interaction.
Density of final states. Estimation of some cross section.
Decays. Branching ratio. Breit-Wigner formula.

Symmetries and conservation laws. Discrete symmetries: parity, charge conjugation, time reversal. Additive quantum numbers. Baryon number, lepton numbers, strangeness, charm, beauty, top.

General characteristics of nuclei: charge and mass distribution, spin, parity, electromagnetic moments.
Binding energy and semiempirical mass formula.

Isospin. Deuteron: binding energy, spin, parity.
Nucleon-nucleon scattering. Dependence of nuclear force on spin. Phenomenological potentials.

Nuclear models. Fermi gas model, shell model, elements on collective phenomena.

Alpha decay. Geiger-Nuttal law. Gamow model.

Beta decay. Fermi theory.
Neutrini: mass; cross section for scattering on protons. Reines and Cowan experiment.
Neutrino oscillations.

Tau-theta paradox. Parity violation in weak interactions. Wu experiment.

Nuclear fission. Phenomenology and fission products.
Nuclear fusion. Phenomenology. Fission in stars.

Teaching Methods

There will be occasional problem sessions (not more often than once a week). As in any physics course, the ability to solve problems is extremely important for mastering the
material. They are primarily for instruction, rather than evaluation, thus, the students may occasionally collaborate with the instructor on their solution.

Verification of learning

Final Examination

Oral examination on the topics covered in the course.


Braibant Giacomelli Spurio
Particles and fundamental interactions.

Povh et al.
Particles and nuclei

Introduuctory nuclear physics.

Das Ferbel
Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics 2ed
World Scientific

Introduction to Elementary Particles

A wide set of exercises can be found in (Italian only):
Ivano Lombardo
Problemi di fisica nucleare e subnucleare

More Information

Slides shown during lectures are available on request.

Questionnaire and social

Share on:
Impostazioni cookie