Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students explore atomic, nuclear, and sub-nuclear structures, radiation physics and nuclear energy. Students develop their experimental and computational skills with a range of laboratory experiments. This subject is one of four such subjects at third year level that together constitute the Physics major stream. This stream is an excellent preparation for a career in research or education in the physical sciences and also for honours and post-graduate research studies in Physics.

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorChanh Tran

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites (PHY2MOD and PHY2OPT and PHY2EMM) or (PHY2SCA and PHY2SCB), and (MAT2VCA and MAT2LAL and MAT2MEC) or equivalent or approval from the Department of Physics adviser of studies.


Incompatible subjects PHY3SCA, PHY3SCB, PHY5ANA

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Analyse, visualise and solve conceptual and mathematical problems related to atomic and nuclear physics.

Students are assigned a set of conceptual and mathematical problems to solve in the form of four assignments. Problem-solving techniques are modelled in lectures and partial solutions to selected problems derived in tutorials. Students work individually to prepare and submit complete solutions to meet deadlines occurring regularly throughout the course.

02. Critically review and analyse research data in an ethical manner and interpret the results with reference to the scientific literature in order to develop appropriate conclusions and convey these in an appropriate manner in a written report.

Students prepare an individual report in the style of a professional research journal article which accurately and ethically describes the experiment, its findings and draws appropriate conclusions. Students are provided with a template on which to base their report, along with graded examples of previous students' reports.

03. Design and perform experiments related to atomic and nuclear physics using standard physics laboratory techniques, equipment and software which produce conclusive and accurate results.

Students conduct, in pairs, three extended laboratory experiments of nine hours duration each in close consultation with a staff demonstrator, who assists them in the design and conduct of the experiment.

04. Describe and explain, in appropriate written and verbal style, the findings from laboratory experiments performed by the student. Answer verbal queries about the findings as presented in the context of atomic and nuclear physics.

Students conduct an oral interview with a laboratory demonstrator at the completion of each experiment where their understanding of the underlying physics concepts, experimental approaches, data and error analysis, and maturity in diagnosing and solving problems are assessed. Students give an oral presentation about one of the first two experiments they have conducted where they explain and interpret their results to a peer group and the lecturer.

05. Collaborate, in pairs, to complete laboratory experiments and prepare and deliver the oral component of laboratory assessment. Ethically distinguish between collaborative and individual work.

The relative participation of each student in completing the experiment and in the preparation and execution of the oral component of the laboratory assessment are assessed. It is repeatedly stressed via the subject materials and orally that students in the group are expected to contribute equally to these activities. Students are expected to submit their own work (laboratory reports). If they fail to do so, they are counselled after the first occasion by the demonstrator. For subsequent plagiarism, no marks are awarded and they are interviewed by the subject coordinator.

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