INTRODUCTION TO THE PHYSICS OF MATTER (UNIT 1)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To develop the skill of solving simple problems in semiclassical physics, in the first part of the course, and quantum phyisics, in the second part, applied to nuclei, elementary particles and atoms. Tutorials and homeworks, individually corrected and graded, favour the development of learning skills, communication abilities and judgement.
The student must know classical physics, with problem solving competence. He/she is strongly edvised to attend in parallel the course Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (or to have attended a similar course), and to have working experience in the basic mathematical methods of physics. There are no formal prerequisites.
Course contents summary
1 Introduction, Nuclei, phenomenology.
2 Four experiments: Rutherford scattering, the proton, Chadwick and the neutron, Hofstadter and the nuclear dimensions.
3. Binding energy, the drop model, the Yukawa mechanism.
4. α,β,γ decays, transmutation, introduction to the nuclide chart, NMR, the Mössbauer effect.
5. Fermi gas model, Fermi distribution, identical particles and Pauli principle, vector model for the addition of angular momenta.
6. Shell model, even-even, odd-odd, even-odd and odd-even nuclei.
7. Fusion, fission, chain reaction, nuclear bomb, nuclear reactors.
8. Nuclide chart, II part, and the stability valley, thenucleosynthesis.
9. Particles: leptons, hadrons (mesons and barions. The positron, the pion and the muon.
10. An example of angular momentum: Pauli matrices, eigenstates and eigenvalues, commutation rules.
11. Dirac equation, Dirac see and antimatter.
12. QED, weak interactions, Fermi, Glashow, Weinberg and Salam, W±, Z0.
13. QCD and the standard model.
14. Astroparticles (Seminar by Massimo Pietroni)
15. Final chronology and μSR.
16. Franck-Hertz experiment, non relativistic hydrogen, hydrogenoid atoms, Stern-Gerlach and Zeeman xperiments.
17. Relativistic hydrogen, spin, spin-orbit coupling and fine structure, hyperfine structure.
18. Helium, screening and variational method.
19. Helium: spin, exchange, ortho and para helium, noble gas atoms, Alcaline atoms, quantum defect.
20. Atoms from Boron to Neon, Hund's rules.
21. Many electrons: self consistent field, Hartree, Hartree-Fock and Density Functionals.
22. Optical selection rules, non relativistic "second quantization", optical spectroscopy.
23. X ray spectroscopy, Auger and photoelectron spectroscopies.
24. Cold atoms (Seminar by Sandro Wimberger)
Alonso Finn Fundamental Physics, Quantum Physics, Addison Wesley, 1968 (Ch. 7,8,9,3,4)
Eisberg Resnick Quantum Physics, John Wiley, 1985 (Ch. 15,16,17,8,9,10)
Lectures and tutorials, mostly run through weekly homeworks.
Assessment methods and criteria
The homeworks are individually corrected and lead to grades whose average weights 1/3 of the final marks. The other 2/3 come from written papers. Oral exams may be used to amend for insufficent scores in papers.