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Nuclear and Particle Physics Topics

Special relativity and important ideas from nonrelativistic quantum mechanics:

Relativistic kinematics, Lorentz transformations, Lorentz invariants

Fermi's golden rule, perturbation theory, addition of angular momenta


Passage of radiation through matter and detectors:

Rutherford scattering, Compton scattering, energy loss due to Ionization, multiple scattering, electromagnetic and hadronic showers

Basic principles of operation of the various detectors used in nuclear and particle physics and what determines their resolution.



Nuclear physics:

Fermi gas model, liquid drop model, binding energy per nucleon, shell model, basics of   nuclear spectroscopy, nuclear form factors

Classification of the hadrons and conservation laws

Construction of meson and baryon wave functions, spectroscopy and spectroscopic notation.

Baryon number, lepton number,  lepton flavor, hypercharge, isospin, C, P, CP,  and CPT.


Specifically for Heavy Ion students:

Basics of Thermodynamics

Basics of Hydrodynamics

Phenomena at Heavy Ion experiments 


Symmetries and groups, role of gauge symmetries in field theories of interactions:

U(1) and electromagnetism

SU(2), spin, isospin, Electroweak interaction

SU(3) and color - QCD

Photon and massive vector boson propagators

Connection between bosons and the generators of symmetry groups


Relativistic Quantum Mechanics:

Dirac equation, spinors, antiparticles, bilinear covariants

Feynman diagrams, Feynman rules

Photon polarization

Be able to discuss qualitatively loops, running coupling constants, renormalization


Hadronic structure, parton distribution functions. Bjorken scaling

Experimental evidence for QCD, R ratio in e+e-

Weak interactions, V-A, the weak interaction current

CKM matrix, K and B meson mixing, CP violation

Neutrino masses and mixing


Specific to Particle Physics students:

Phenomena at collider experiments

Theories beyond the standard model (should know what some of them are and give examples of what to look for in experiments)