Syllabus for Nuclear Physics for Pedestrians

Kärnfysik för nyfikna


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA319
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2014-03-13
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements: General entry requirements
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

This course is intended for all curious persons who would like to learn the basics of nuclear physics and be able to use this knowledge for understanding of the principles of the most common nuclear physics applications in the society.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • use basic concepts of nuclear physics,
  • describe the basic principles of the most common nuclear physics applications in the society: nuclear energy, radiation therapy and nuclear medicine,
  • use nuclear data bases available on Internet to search for information about the properties of nuclides,
  • write short reports about different applications of nuclear physics.


Basic nuclear physics: Nuclides, isotopes, nuclear mass, binding energy and stability, radioactive decays, natural and artificial radioactivity, nuclear reactions.

Radiation physics: Ionising radiation, different dose concepts, quality factors, radiation biology, our radiation environment.

Nuclear energy: Fission reactors, reactor accidents, nuclear fuel processes, transmutation of nuclear waste, fusion research

Medical applications: different methods for radiation therapy and diagnostics in nuclear medicine.

Other applications, for example radiometric dating, methods for analysis of materials, synthesis of nuclei in the Universe.


An introduction day with lectures in the beginning of the course, computer-aided self studies, study visits.


Active participation at the introduction day. The examination consists of hand-in exercises, projects and study visit reports.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Bryan, Jeff C. Introduction to nuclear science

    Second edition.: Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/ Taylor & Francis Group, [2013]

    Find in the library


Last modified: 2022-04-26