• Offered by Physics Education Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Physics
  • Areas of interest Physics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Prof Gregory Lane
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

In the context of the wide application of nuclear techniques, this course aims to introduce students to the key concepts in nuclear physics. These include:

  • Fundamental nuclear properties
  • Nuclear binding energy
  • Nuclear transmutation and decay
  • Exponential decay law and secular equilibrium
  • Nuclear reactions, fission and fusion
  • Basic nuclear models (shell model, vibrational model, rotational model)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. explain basic properties of nuclei and the forces that bind them, and compare and contrast nuclear forces with other forces in nature and argue how the unique properties of nuclei ensue
2. recognise common types of nuclear reactions and critically discuss their applications
3. explain the origin and properties of radiation emitted by unstable nuclei and appraise their applications
4. read nuclear level schemes and interrogate web-based nuclear databases as tools for problem solving in the application of nuclear techniques
5. identify and interpret key characteristics in nuclear spectra in terms of simple nuclear models

Indicative Assessment

An assessment portfolio, to be negotiated with students in terms of formats and weightings, will be based on:

  • Homework, tutorial exercises and problem sets (LO 1-5)
  • Written assignments/essays (LO 2, 5)
  • Class presentation (LO 1-3, 5)
  • Take home exam (LO 1-5)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


2 lecture hours per week plus tutorials plus homework and assignments

Preliminary Reading

J. Lilley, Nuclear Physics,  Wiley (2001) / K. Krane, Introductory Nuclear Physics, Wiley (1987)


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4050
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3856 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

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