Offered By

University of Geneva

About this Course

4.4

229 ratings

•

76 reviews

This course introduces you to subatomic physics, i.e. the physics of nuclei and particles.
More specifically, the following questions are addressed:
- What are the concepts of particle physics and how are they implemented?
- What are the properties of atomic nuclei and how can one use them?
- How does one accelerate and detect particles and measure their properties?
- What does one learn from particle reactions at high energies and particle decays?
- How do electromagnetic interactions work and how can one use them?
- How do strong interactions work and why are they difficult to understand?
- How do weak interactions work and why are they so special?
- What is the mass of objects at the subatomic level and how does the Higgs boson intervene?
- How does one search for new phenomena beyond the known ones?
- What can one learn from particle physics concerning astrophysics and the Universe as a whole?
The course is structured in eight modules. Following the first one which introduces our subject, the modules 2 (nuclear physics)
and 3 (accelerators and detectors) are rather self contained and can be studied separately. The modules 4 to 6 go into more depth about matter and forces as described by the standard model of particle physics. Module 7 deals with our ways to search for new phenomena. And the last module introduces you to two mysterious components of the Universe, namely Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

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Suggested: We estimate the workload for this course to be about 11 weeks of study with 3 to 4 hours/week, depending on your usage of the optional material. ...

Subtitles: English

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Suggested: We estimate the workload for this course to be about 11 weeks of study with 3 to 4 hours/week, depending on your usage of the optional material. ...

Subtitles: English

Week

1During this first module, we will give an overview of the objects studied in particle physics, namely matter, forces and space-time. We will discuss how one characterizes the strength of an interaction between particles using the concept of cross section, which is central to our subject. At the end of this module, we will visit the laboratory of the nuclear physics course at University of Geneva to see an example of how one measures the strength of a reaction in practice....

13 videos (Total 88 min), 6 quizzes

1.1 Matter11m

1.2 Forces10m

1.2a Natural units (optional)2m

1.2b Special relativity and four-vectors (optional)7m

1.2c Virtual particles (optional)2m

1.3 Probability and cross section13m

1.3a Attenuation of a photon beam (optional)1m

1.4 Rutherford experiment7m

1.4a Rutherford cross section (optional)3m

1.4b Counting rate Rutherford (optional)2m

1.5 Quantum scattering10m

1.6 Rutherford experiment in practice (optional)13m

1.1 Matter10m

1.2 Forces6m

1.3 Probability and cross section8m

1.4 Rutherford experiment8m

1.5 Quantum scattering6m

Graded quiz for Module 110m

Week

2During this second module, we deal with nuclear physics and its applications. This is a rather self-contained module. If your main interest is nuclear physics, you will be well served. You will notice that this is a rather substantial module, we recommend that you take two weeks to digest it. At the end of this module, we will visit the Tokamak of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne and the Beznau nuclear power plant, the oldest one still in operation. This will alllow you to better understand the applications of nuclear physics for our energy supply....

15 videos (Total 142 min), 1 reading, 10 quizzes

2.2 Nuclear size and spin9m

2.3 Models of nuclear structure10m

2.3a QCD and nuclear force (optional)2m

2.4 Radioactivity: alpha decay9m

2.4a Energy of alpha particles (optional)1m

2.5 Beta and gamma decay8m

2.5a Exponential decay law (optional)1m

2.6 Radioactivity in practice (optional)8m

2.7 Radiocarbon dating and NMR imaging8m

2.8 Nuclear fission11m

2.9 Nuclear power6m

2.10 Nuclear fusion, the Sun and ITER8m

2.11 The tokamak of EPFL (optional)24m

2.12 The Beznau nuclear power plant (optional)20m

2.4 Radioactivity: alpha decay10m

2.1 Nuclear mass and binding energy8m

2.2 Nuclear size and spin8m

2.3 Models of nuclear structure6m

2.4 Radioactivity: alpha decay6m

2.5 Beta and gamma decay6m

2.7 Radiocarbon dating and NMR imaging6m

2.8 Nuclear fission6m

2.9 Nuclear power6m

2.10 Nuclear fusion, the Sun and ITER8m

Graded quiz for Module 210m

Week

3In this module, we treat the basic facts about particle acceleration and detection. This is a rather self-contained module. If your main interest is particle acceleration and detection, you will be well served. You will notice that this is rather substantial module, we recommend that you take two weeks to digest it. We introduce electromagnetic acceleration and focalisation of particle beams and show how they are used in the accelerator complex of CERN. We describe how charged particles and photons interact with matter and how these interactions are used to detect particles and measure their properties. And we show how modern particle detectors use the synergies between different detection methods to get exhaustive information about the final state of particle collisions....

14 videos (Total 99 min), 3 readings, 10 quizzes

3.1a Cyclotron frequency (optional)2m

3.2 Acceleration and focalisation6m

3.2a The CERN accelerator complex (optional)3m

3.3 Components of the LHC (optional)14m

3.4 Heavy particles in matter6m

3.5 Light particles in matter4m

3.6 Photons in matter8m

3.7 Ionisation detectors7m

3.8 Semiconductor detectors7m

3.9 Scintillation and Cherenkov detectors12m

3.10 Spectrometers and calorimeters8m

3.10a Particle detection with ATLAS (optional)3m

3.11 Particle detectors at DPNC (optional)6m

3.9 Scintillation and Cherenkov detectors10m

3.10 Spectrometers and calorimeters10m

3.11 Particle detectors at DPNC (optional)10m

3.1 Principles of particle acceleration6m

3.2 Acceleration and focalisation8m

3.4 Heavy particles in matter6m

3.5 Light particles in matter6m

3.6 Photons in matter6m

3.7 Ionisation detectors4m

3.8 Semiconductor detectors4m

3.9 Scintillation and Cherenkov detectors8m

3.10 Spectrometers and calorimeters4m

Graded quiz for Module 310m

Week

4We now start a series of three modules discussing the three fundamental forces described by the Standard Model of particle physics. In this forth module, we go into more details about the properties of electromagnetic interactions. We discuss spin and how it intervenes in measurements. And we give a few examples of basic electromagnetic processes to point out common features.
You will notice that the intellectual challenge and also the level of mathematical description rises somewhat as we go along. This is why we first remind you how to describe the intensity of a reaction using the cross section and the decay rate and how to construct a Feynman diagram.
...

7 videos (Total 54 min), 6 quizzes

4.1a How to construct a Feynman diagram (optional)4m

4.2 Electromagnetic scattering13m

4.3 Spin and magnetic moment6m

4.3a Motion in a Penning Trap2m

4.4 Compton scattering and pair annihilation11m

4.5 Electron-positron annihilation8m

4.1 Reminder: Describing particle interactions6m

4.2 Electromagnetic scattering8m

4.3 Spin and magnetic moment6m

4.4 Compton scattering and pair annihilation6m

4.5 Electron-positron annihilation6m

Graded quiz for Module 46m

4.4

76 ReviewsBy MH•Aug 5th 2017

Challenging at first for someone with a non-traditional academic background, but thoroughly enjoyable and worth completing, if nothing but for the personal satisfaction of getting through it!

By EP•Apr 23rd 2017

Very interesting course. Quite difficult to pass week 6 due to a question on w boson quark transformation. Couldnt find answers in sylabus. Maybe just me. Overall excellant course.

Founded in 1559, the University of Geneva (UNIGE) is one of Europe's leading universities. Devoted to research, education and dialogue, the UNIGE shares the international calling of its host city, Geneva, a centre of international and multicultural activities with a venerable cosmopolitan tradition....

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