Subatomic Physics (PHYS*4130)

Code and section: PHYS*4130*01

Term: Winter 2011

Instructor: Paul Garrett


Course Information


Lecturer Office Extension Email
Paul Garrett MacN 220 52192


Day Time Location
M,W,F 11:30–12:20 MacN 201

Course Materials


No single text covers the course material. However, the book by B.R. Martin Nuclear and Particle Physics, an Introduction, John Wiley and Sons, ISBN-13 978-0 470 02532 8, offers a good introduction to many of the topics.

Notes are available online at and following the ”Teaching” link.

Course Evaluation

Assessment Weight
Assignments 20%
Midterm 30%
Final 50%

If the final exam mark is greater than that of the midterm, the midterm will be dropped and the final exam mark will be weighted as 80% of the final mark.

The purpose of this course is to introduce physics at the subatomic level, from the physics of the nucleus to that of particles that are created at the highest-energy laboratories. Lectures will be given on the following topics:

  • Mathematical preliminaries: complex functions and integration, group theory
  • Cross sections, Rutherford scattering, QM scattering theory
  • Born series, first Born approximation, form factors
  • Nucleon scattering, deep inelastic scattering, quarks, SU(2) isospin
  • Particle quantum numbers, parity, charge conjugation, lepton number, baryon number, CPT theorem, particle decay modes, antiparticles
  • Feynman diagrams, basic forces, boson exchange, strong/weak charges, decay diagrams
  • Standard model, CKM matrix, Zweig rule
  • Nucleon-nucleon scattering, NN potential, meson exchange, nuclear binding and masses
  • Nuclear decay modes, \(\beta \pm\)decay, Fermi theory, phase space
  • Fermi and Gamow-Teller decays, \(\beta\) decay, \(\gamma\) decay and conversion \(e^- \)
  • Nuclear structure, shell model, collective model
  • Radiation exposure and nuclear medicine, fission, fusion, nuclear weapons

Course Policies

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member’s contribution in the area of teaching.

The Department’s teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing ”I agree” in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.