Subatomic Physics (PHYS*4130)

Code and section: PHYS*4130*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Liliana Caballero


Course Information


Quantum Mechanics II- PHYS 4040, Statistical Physics II- PHYS 4240
The course also relies on a working knowledge of classical mechanics, electromagnetism, and mathematics.

Class Schedule

Day  Time Location
Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m to 11:20 a.m MacN Room 118


Instructor Email
Liliana Caballero

Office hours

Monday from 10:00a.m  to 12:00 p.m or email me to arrange an appointment.

Course Materials

Recommended textbooks

  • B. Martin and G. Shaw Nuclear and Particle Physics: An Introduction, 3rd edition, Wiley
  • E. Henley and A. Garcia, Subatomic Physics (3rd edition, World Scientific, 2007)
  • The University of Guelph Library has a wonderful resource of e-books at Scholars Portal books.

You can login in with your University credentials and have access to countless books with problems to practice. As an example, you will find: B. Povh, K. Rith, C. Scholz, and F. Zetsche, Particles and nuclei: an introduction to the physical concepts (6th edition, Springer, 2008)

Course Website


Lecture Content

In this course we will discuss aspects of particle physics and study in more depth concepts of nuclear physics. We will go over the following topics:

  • Basic concepts.  Particles, interactions, cross sections.
  • Nuclear Properties. Phenomenology, mass, shapes.
  • Nuclear models. Nucleon-nucleon potentials, Liquid drop model, Shell model 
  • Nuclear decay. Nuclear instability. Fission, alpha, beta and gamma decay. 
  • Weak interactions. Neutrinos, charged and neutral currents (if time allows)


There will be one midterm and one final exam. Both are in-class evaluations.

We will have about three assignments. The due date will be posted in each assignment. Copying will not be tolerated. The homework problems are exercises that give you practice and keep you up-to-date with the course material. However, you need to work on more problems on your own in order to master the content of the course. Late assignments will be received up to two days later and marked with 20% off. 

The project consists of presenting a paper related to the lectures. Students will be choosing from a list of papers that the instructor will provide. Consideration will be given to papers out of such list, as long as it connects to the course content. Students will be asked to work in group of two for this project. The presentations will take place in the last weeks of classes. Attendance to your classmates’ presentation is mandatory.
The final mark of the course will be calculated with the following scheme. No other marking schemes will be considered.

Assessment Weight
Assignments 20%
Project 20%
Midterm 30%
Final Exam 30%

Midterm date Thursday March 2 2023 in class

Final exam date: TBA.

Course Policies

(Not) Working with other students

All work submitted for grading in this course must be each individual student’s own work. While students are encouraged to share thoughts and ideas prior to writing up the solutions, it is not acceptable to share assignment solutions. The assignments are not group projects, and it is important that you do not show your final written solutions to other students.

Getting help

One of the best sources of help is the course’s TA and tutorial instructor. In addition, you can come to Eric’s office hours, or make an appointment for a special meeting at another time.

Grading policies

See the section on “Course evaluation”. 

Course policy on group work

See the section on “(Not) working with other students”. 

Course policy on electronic devices and recording of lectures

What you do with your laptop, smart phone, tablet, etc, during lectures is your own business, so long as it does not create a distraction for your classmates or the instructor. (The instructor is very easily distracted.) If such a distraction arises you will be asked to leave the classroom.

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

University Statements

Email Communication

As per university regulations, all students are required to check their e-mail account regularly: e-mail is the official route of communication between the University and its students.

When You Cannot Meet a Course Requirement

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

Drop Date

Students will have until the last day of classes to drop courses without academic penalty. The deadline to drop two-semester courses will be the last day of classes in the second semester. This applies to all students (undergraduate, graduate and diploma) except for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Diploma in Veterinary Technology (conventional and alternative delivery) students. The regulations and procedures for course registration are available in their respective Academic Calendars.

Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


The University promotes the full participation of students who experience disabilities in their academic programs. To that end, the provision of academic accommodation is a shared responsibility between the University and the student.

When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

Use of the SAS Exam Centre requires students to book their exams at least 7 days in advance and not later than the 40th Class Day.

For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website

Academic Integrity

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity, and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community-faculty, staff, and students-to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff, and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that encourages academic integrity. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


The Academic Calendars are the source of information about the University of Guelph’s procedures, policies, and regulations that apply to undergraduate, graduate, and diploma programs.

Academic Calendars