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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal
Basic Nuclear and Atomic Physics

Course Difficulty: Easy Course, no prior knowledge required.

Course Category: Basic Nuclear Science

Screenshot from the course
Screenshot from the course

Administrative Details

Module Description: This module covers the basics of nuclear and atomic physics.

Prerequisites: Students taking this module should have a working knowledge of basic algebra.

Learning Objectives: Students completing this module should be able to describe the structure of the atom, the constituents of the nucleus, and different types of radiation. The student should be able to give definitions of basic nuclear physics terms and units of measure. The student should be able to use a periodic table and chart of the nuclides to identify specific isotopes and elements and their properties. The student should be able to explain the interactions of radiation with matter and the physics of nuclear fission. The student should be able to complete simple calculations using energy and mass relationships, atomic density, and radioactive decay.

Outline: This module consists of the following sections:

  1. Energy and Mass Relationships
  2. Atomic Structure
  3. Periodic Table and Chart of the Nuclides
  4. Nuclear Stability
  5. Fission
  6. Particle and Electromagnetic Radiation
  7. Radioactivity and Radiation

Each section contains reading material, videos, and reference materials. The reading material includes a brief discussion of the subject matter, and the videos explore the subject in further detail. The student should complete the reading material and then watch the videos if they wish to have additional information and a more in-depth explanation of the subject matter.

A special thanks to Dr. W.D. Reece and Dr. W.H. Hsu for their help in producing this module.

See general course instructions.

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