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Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction

Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction

Brian R. Martin

ISBN: 978-0-470-03547-4 May 2006 428 Pages

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Nuclear and Particle Physics is an accessible, balanced introduction to the subject and provides a readable and up-to-date overview of both the theoretical and experimental aspects of nuclear and particle physics. The emphasis is on the phenomenological approach to understanding experimental phenomena.

The text opens with an introduction to the basic concepts used in nuclear and particle physics and then moves on to describe their respective phenomenologies and experimental methods. Later chapters explore the interpretation of data via models and theories, including the standard model of particle physics and the liquid drop model and shell model of nuclear physics. Several applications of nuclear physics are discussed, including nuclear medicine and the production of power from nuclear fission and fusion. The book closes with a chapter on outstanding problems, including extensions to the standard model, implications for particle astrophysics, improvements in medical imaging and the prospects for power production. Problems are included at the end of each chapter, with a full set of solutions provided. Accessible overview of nuclear and particle physics suitable for a first course in the subject.

  • Chapters are supplemented by an extensive set of problems with full solutions.
  • Includes Appendices on some topics in quantum mechanics and relativistic kinematics.
  • An invaluable text for all physics and astronomy students.


Physical Constants and Conversion Factors.

1 Basic Concepts.

1.1 History.

1.2 Relativity and antiparticles.

1.3 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 and binding energies.

2.2 Nuclear shapes and sizes.

2.3 Nuclear instability.

2.4 Radioactive decay.

2.5 Semi-empirical mass formula: the liquid drop model.

2.6 β-decay phenomenology.

2.8 α-decays.

2.9 Nuclear reactions.


3 Particle Phenomenology.

3.1 Leptons.

3.2 Quarks.

3.3 Hadrons.


4 Experimental Methods.

4.1 Overview 111

4.2 Accelerators and beams 113

4.3 Particle interactions with matter.

4.4 Particle detectors.

4.5 Layered detectors.


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 Jets and gluons.

5.6 Colour counting.

5.7 Deep inelastic scattering and nucleon structure.


6 Electroweak Interactions.

6.1 Charged and neutral currents.

6.2 Symmetries of the weak interaction.

6.3 Spin structure of the weak interactions.

6.4 W<sup>+_</sup> and Z<sup>0</sup> bosons.

6.5 Weak interactions of hadrons.

6.6 Neutral meson decays.

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 &alpha;-decay.

7.7 &beta;-decay.

7.8 &gamma;-emission and internal conversion.


8 Applications of Nuclear Physics.

8.1 Fission.

8.2 Fusion.

8.3 Biomedical applications.


9 Outstanding Questions and Future Prospects.

9.1 Particle physics.

9.2 Nuclear physics.

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.

Appendix B: Relativistic Kinematics.

B.1 Lorentz transformations and four-vectors.

B.2 Frames of reference.

B.3 Invariants.


Appendix C: Rutherford Scattering.

C.1 Classical physics.

C.2 Quantum mechanics.


Appendix D: Solutions to Problems.




"Enthusiastically recommended as a useful addition to any college or university library." (CHOICE, December 2006)
  • End of chapter problems with a full set of their solutions provided.
  • An accessible introduction to this notoriously difficult subject
  • Includes future developments in the field
  • Includes an extensive bibliography and references to further reading.
  • Reflects an increasing move towards teaching nuclear and particle physics as a combined subject.
  • Proven textbook author-author of successful Wiley textbook Particle Physics 2/E
  • Includes basic concepts and theory combined with current and future applications- for example biomedical applications of nuclear physics.