Basics of Nuclear Sciences

The homepage of the course held for Brasilian students in the fall semester of 2014

Lecturer: Sándor Nagy


Written exam. The assay is due by January 15, 2015.

Please, check this PDF document for details.

Topics covered by the course

  1. Size of the nucleus (see the infographics below), mass and charge density of nuclei, nuclear spin and magnetic moment, constituents of nuclei, nuclear force, stable nuclides, nuclear reactions, radioactivity, interactions of radiation and matter,
  2. age determination, detectors, nuclear reactors.

Course materials


Most of the topics (those in group 1) are covered by the electronic book "Bantu"

Most directly relevant chapters are those in red:

I would also recommend though reading the rest of the chapters listed above (plus chapter 13 if you define yourself as a chemist :).


The rest of the topics (those in group 2) will be discussed in the electronic versions of the presentations listed below

Simulations and animations for exploration

Some of these requires Java. You can dowload it from Oracle, it's free.

Java simulations from PhET (you should try them)

You should click on Download. Remember where the .jar file is saved. You need to downoad it only once and use it as if it were an .exe file. That is, double click on it, and if you have Java on your PC, it will start to run. The use of PhET sims is straightforward and intuitive. You will see.

Further Java simulations (you may try them)

Flash simulations from KCVS (you should try them)

Further Flash simulations/animations

Gif animations

Compare the size of the nucleus to other things in the Universe

Find the size of the proton (the smallest atomic nucleus) at the bottom of the scale at 1 fm (10 -15 m). Zooming out by a factor of 10 5 at a time, get the feeling how the nucleus compares to the rest of the Universe including you. (See further instructions below if you need more.)

Copyright 2012. Magnifying the Universe by Number Sleuth.


See also the page Data & Facts About The Universe giving the sources used for the creation of the above infographics.

The 2014 edition of the CPEP materials about fundamental particles and interactions


The high-resolution jpg and pdf versions of the above chart (which also includes the Higgs boson) as well as its parts can be downloaded from here:


Sándor Nagy, Törökbálint, October 26, 2014