PHY3024 : Atoms, Molecules, Nuclei, Particles

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To present the quantum theory of atoms including spin, fine structure and many electron atoms
To present the quantum theory of molecules, including a quantum treatment of their binding, electronic structure, rotation, vibration and spectroscopy.
To present a treatment of the structure of the nucleus, its binding and treatments of decay.
To present an overview of elementary particle physics, their classification and interactions.

Outline Of Syllabus

Atomic Structure:
Spin, Pauli Principle, multiplets, fine structure; Zeeman effect; LS and JJ coupling.

Molecular Physics:
Molecular Hamiltonian, Born Oppenheimer approximation, electronic structure: bonding
Vibration and rotation: harmonic motion and beyond, rigid rotator and energy levels.
Spectroscopy: microwave, infrared optical spectra. Selection rules, Franck-Condon principle.

Nuclear Physics:
Nuclear masses and binding energies; models of the nucleus, theories of radioactive decay, fission and fusion nuclear power.

Particle Physics:
Elementary particles, relativity and antiparticles, Feynman diagrams, particle exchange and interaction, the Standard model

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion65:0030:00Problem solving sheet
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:3012:00Revision for final exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30Final Exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00In class tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Formal Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery120:102:00Office hours
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:3030:30Reviewing lecture notes; background reading; tutorial sheets
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide core material and guidance for further reading, problem solving practice is provided through tutorials and continually assessed exercises.
Office hours (two per week) will provide an opportunity for more direct contact between individual students and the lecturer: a typical student might spend a total of one or two hours over the course of the module, either individually or as part of a group.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A90N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M101 problem sheet worth 10%
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The problem solving aspects of the assessment enable students to demonstrate that they are able to apply this understanding and their analysis and synthesis skills to novel situations. Problems are set and assessed during the module to enhance the understanding of the material and nurture the progressive acquisition of skills in solving illustrative problems.

Reading Lists