Skip to main content

Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction, 2nd Edition

Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction, 2nd Edition

Brian R. Martin

ISBN: 978-0-470-74275-4 March 2009 454 Pages


In Stock



An accessible introduction to nuclear and particle physics with equal coverage of both topics, this text covers all the standard topics in particle and nuclear physics thoroughly and provides a few extras, including chapters on experimental methods; applications of nuclear physics including fission, fusion and biomedical applications; and unsolved problems for the future. It includes basic concepts and theory combined with current and future applications. An excellent resource for physics and astronomy undergraduates in higher-level courses, this text also serves well as a general reference for graduate studies.
Preface to Second Edition.


1. Basic Concepts.

1.1 History.

1.2 Relativity and Antiparticles.

1.3 Space-Time Symmetries and Conservation Laws.

1.4 Interactions and Feynman Diagrams.

1.5 Particle Exchange: Forces and Potentials.

1.6 Observable Quantities: Cross-sections and Decay Rates.

1.7 Units: Length, Mass and Energy.


2. Nuclear Phenomenology.

2.1 Mass Spectroscopy .

2.2 Nuclear Shapes and Sizes.

2.3 Semi-Empirical Mass Formula: the Liquid Drop Model.

2.4 Nuclear Instability.

2.5 Radioactive Decay.

2.6 βDecay Phenomenology.

2.7 Fission.

2.8 γDecays.

2.9 Nuclear Reactions.


3. Particle Phenomenology.

3.1 Leptons.

3.2 Quarks.

3.3 Hadrons.


4. Experimental Methods.

4.1 Overview.

4.2 Accelerators and Beams.

4.3 Particle Interactions with Matter.

4.4 Particle Detectors.

4.5 Multi-Component Detector Systems.


5. Quark Dynamics: The Strong Interaction .

5.1 Colour.

5.2 Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD).

5.3 Heavy Quark Bound States.

5.4 The Strong Coupling Constant and Asymptotic Freedom.

5.5 Quark-Gluon Plasma.

5.6 Jets and Gluons.

5.7 Colour Counting.

5.8 Deep Inelastic Scattering and Nucleon Structure.


6. Weak Interactions And Electroweak Unification.

6.1 Charged and Neutral Currents.

6.2 Symmetries of the Weak Interaction.

6.3 Spin Structure of the Weak Interactions.

6.4 W± and Z0 Bosons.

6.5 Weak Interactions of Hadrons: Charged Currents.

6.6 Meson Decays and CP Violation.

6.7 Neutral Currents and the Unified Theory.


7. Models And Theories Of Nuclear Physics .

7.1 The Nucleon-Nucleon Potential.

7.2 Fermi Gas Model.

7.3 Shell Model.

7.4 Non-Spherical Nuclei.

7.5 Summary of Nuclear Structure Models.

7.6 α-Decay.

7.7 β-Decay.

7.8 γ-Emission and Internal Conversion.


8. Applications Of Nuclear Physics.

8.1 Fission.

8.2 Fusion.

8.3 Nuclear Weapons.

8.4 Biomedical applications.


9. Outstanding Questions and Future Prospects.

9.1 Overview.

9.2 Hadrons and Nuclei .

9.3 The Origin of Mass: the Higgs Boson .

9.4 The Nature of the Neutrino.

9.5 Beyond the Standard Model: Unification Schemes.

9.6 Particle Astrophysics.

9.7 Nuclear Medicine.

9.8 Power Production and Nuclear Waste.

Appendix A: Some Results In Quantum Mechanics.

A.1 Barrier Penetration.

A.2 Density of States.

A.3 Perturbation Theory and the Second Golden Rule.

A.4 Isospin Formalism.

A.4.1 Isospin operators and quark states.

A.4.2 Hadron states.

Appendix B: Relativistic Kinematics.

B.1 Lorentz Transformations and Four-Vectors.

B.2 Frames of Reference.

B.3 Invariants.

Problems B.

Appendix C: Rutherford Scattering.

C.1 Classical Physics.

C.2 Quantum Mechanics.

Problems C.

Appendix D: Gauge Theories.

D.1 Gauge Invariance and the Standard Model.

D.1.1 Electromagnetism and the gauge principle.

D.1.2 The standard model.

D.2 Particle Masses and the Higgs Field.

Appendix E: Data.

E.1 Physical Constants and Conversion Factors.

E.2 Tables of Particle Properties.

D.2.1 Gauge bosons.

D.2.2 Leptons.

D.2.3 Quarks.

D.2.4 Baryons.

D.2.5 Mesons.

E.3 Tables of Nuclear Properties.

D.3.1 Properties of naturally occurring isotopes.

D.3.2 The periodic table.

Appendix F: Solutions To Problems.




The complete text has been updated taking into account new findings and feedback from course instructors, as appropriate. In addition, a number of new sections (see listing below) have been included and the worked problems updated. Notation has been modified in a few places and to ensure that the style of lettering etc on figures is totally consistent with.

1.3          Space-Time Symmetries and Conservation Laws

                1.3.1       Parity

                1.3.2       Charge conjugation

                1.3.3       Time reversal

New section, written partly to compliment 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 and partly because time-reversal invariance is needed in Chapters 7 and 9.

1.6          Observable Quantities: Cross-sections and Decay Rates

                1.6.1       Amplitudes

Material briefly extended to discuss relativistic form of amplitude – needed in later chapters.

3.1          Leptons

Complete reorganisation of the material in this section, with additional material to improve clarity, and to take account of recent results and greatly increased interest in neutrino physics.

                3.1.1       Lepton multiplets and lepton numbers

                3.1.2       Universal lepton interactions; the number of neutrinos

                3.1.5       Oscillation experiments and neutrino masses

New section that incorporates the material in the old Sec. 3.1.4, but extends it greatly and brings it fully up-to-date. It divides the material into subsections discussing electron neutrino oscillations, muon neutrino oscillations and their consequences for neutrino masses. A new figure is included related to the mass hierarchy problem for neutrinos.

                3.1.6       Lepton numbers revisited

New section discussing the consequences of CP violation for lepton number conservation – includes one new figure and a calculation of a decay that violates lepton number conservation.

                4.2          Accelerators and Beams

                                4.2.1       DC accelerators

                                4.2.2       AC accelerators

Additional material on linear accelerators

                5.7          Deep Inelastic Scattering and Nucleon Structure

                                5.7.1       Scaling

                                5.7.2       Quark-parton model

New clearer derivation of deep inelastic scattering formulas

                6.4            and   Bosons

Extended with new material

                6.5          Weak Interactions of Hadrons: Charged Currents

                                6.5.1       Semileptonic decays

                                6.5.2       Selection rules

New section         

6.6          Meson Decays and CP Violation

Substantially rewritten with considerable additional material. New section extending discussion of CP violation to B Decays – of great current interest

                                6.6.4       Flavour oscillations

Expanded to discuss CPT symmetry – one new figure

                                6.6.5       CP violation and the standard model

New section relating experimental results in both K and B decays to the predictions of the Standard Model

                7.4          Non-Spherical Nuclei

                                7.4.1       Electric quadrupole moments

New explanation of absence of electric dipole moments


                                7.7.1       Electron and positron momentum distributions

                                7.7.2       Selection rules

                                7.7.3       Applications of Fermi theory

Complete rewrite of this section with considerable additional material – now includes subsections on Kurie plots, neutrino mass and total decay rates.

                8.3          Nuclear Weapons

New section on, with subsections on ‘Fission Devices’ and ‘Fission/Fusion Devices’, to compliment Section 8.1 on controlled release of nuclear energy. Each subsection contains one new figure

                                8.3.1       Fission devices

                                8.3.2       Fission/fusion devices

                8.4          Biomedical applications

The material of this section has been rearranged with new subsections and some new material added, including bringing the discussion of proton therapy from Chapter 9 into this section.



The material in this chapter has been totally rearranged and substantial new material added, examples of which are given below.

                9.1          Overview

Extended overview of the field and the questions to be discussed.

                9.2          Hadrons and Nuclei

                                9.2.1       Hadron structure and the nuclear environment

                                9.2.2       Nuclear structure

                                9.2.3       Nuclear synthesis

                                9.2.4       Symmetries and the standard model

Discussion of the importance of electric dipole moments and the experimental status of searches.

                9.3          The Origin of Mass: the Higgs Boson

                                9.3.1       Theoretical background

Now links to brief introduction in Chapter 6 and to new Appendix D

                                9.3.2       Experimental searches

Totally rewritten and expanded, with four new figures, to take account of huge interest in Higgs boson with start-up of LHC at CERN in late 2008

                9.4          The Nature of the Neutrino

New section on the nature of the neutrino (Dirac or Majorana) and experimental tests via double beta decay – topics of great current interest

                                9.4.1       Dirac or Majorana?

                                9.4.2       Neutrinoless double -decay

                9.5          Beyond the Standard Model: Unification Schemes

                                9.5.1       Grand unification

Additional material, e.g. seesaw mechanism

                                9.5.2       Supersymmetry

New material on electric dipole moments as a test of time reversal invariance

                                9.5.3       Strings and things

New qualitative subsection on string theories

                9.6          Particle Astrophysics

Re-arrangement of material, with additional material on neutrino astrophysics and neutrino masses

                                9.6.1       Neutrino astrophysics

                                9.6.2       The early universe: dark matter and neutrino masses

                                9.6.3       Matter-antimatter asymmetry

                                9.6.4       Quark-gluon plasma

                9.7          Nuclear Medicine

Additional material on the use of proton and heavy ion therapy and advances in use of MRI.

                9.8          Power Production and Nuclear Waste

New material on the problem of the disposal of radioactive waste by accelerator driven systems.

                A.4          Isospin Formalism

New section deriving formulas used throughout the book, previously just stated


D.            GAUGE THEORIES

New appendix with a simple qualitative introduction to gauge invariance and the Higgs mechanism

E.            DATA

                New appendix, with (limited) tables of data for particle and nuclear physics (requested by readers)


  • End of chapter problems and worked solutions in the text
  • Extensive list of references and bibliography with useful comments on similar books
  • Figures provided as PowerPoint slides for Instructors