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Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics 2

Module PH0015 [KTA Expert 2]

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2021

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2023SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017SS 2011

Basic Information

PH0015 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Mandatory Modules in Bachelor Programme Physics (6th Semester, Specialization KTA)

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
270 h 90 h 9 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH0015 in the version of SS 2021 was Peter Fierlinger.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Physics of Quark- and Leptonflavors

  • Yukawa coupling and the CKM matrix
  • Flavor-oscillation in the neutral kaon and B-meson system
  • CP violation
  • Neutrino oscillations

Nuclear Physics

  • Nucleon-nucleon-interaction and the deuteron
  • Nuclear models
  • Radioactivity
  • Nuclear deformations, collective phenomena
  • Nuclear reactions
  • High-energy nuclear physics
  • Applications of nuclear physics


  • Nuclear fusion and the evolution of stars
  • Element formation and the basics of nuclear astrophysics
  • Basics of cosmology

Learning Outcome

After the successful completion of the module, students have structured knowledge about the standard model of particle physics, especially about the details of weak interaction and the phenomena of electro weak symmetry-breaking. Aditionally they have basic knowledge on nuclear physics and nuclear decays. They are able to understand the basics of the most important models and concepts of nuclear physics. They also have basic knowledge about the origin of the universe and the principles of modern cosmology.



Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module is a specialization module for the sixth term of the bachelor programme. The 4 hour lecture and 2 hour tutorial are usually taught as an intensive course in the first half of the semester - i.e. as an eight hour lecture with a four hour tutorial. There are no lectures and tutorials in the second half of the term, when students are busy finalizing their bachelor thesis.

In the thematically structured lecture the learning content is presented via ex-cathedra teaching using instructive examples. The students are encouraged to engage in scientific discussions, to revisit the learning content themselves and to work through the textbooks mentioned in the section "Literature". Cross references to physical principles taught earlier help the students to grasp the universal concepts of physics.

The tutorial is held in small groups. The students are asked to work out the solutions to the weekly problem sets themselves at home before coming to the tutorial. In this way the students can control and deepen their understanding of the methods and concepts presented in the lecture. During the tutorial solutions to the weekly problem set are presented by the students and the tutor. The tutorial provides room for discussions and additional explanations to the lectures, prepares for the problems of the exam and rehearses the specific competencies.

The different teaching formats are closely intertwined and the lecturers are in constant exchange. 


Blackboard or presentation,
Example videos (partly as downloads),
Lecture notes (partly as downloads),
Problem sets and solutions (as download)


B. Povh, K. Rith, C. Scholz, F. Zetsche, W. Rodejohann, Teilchen und Kerne (Springer 2013)
B.R. Martin and G. Shaw, Particle Physics (Wiley 2008)
C. Berger, Elementarteilchenphysik: Von den Grundlagen zu den modernen Experimenten (Springer-Lehrbuch, 2014)

F. Halzen and A. D. Martin Quarks and Leptons: an Introductory Course in Modern Particle Physics
O. Nachtmann, Elementary Particle Physics: Concepts and Phenomena (Springer)
J.F. Donoghue, E.Golowich and B.R.Holstein, Dynamics of the Standard Model
C.Quigg, Gauge Theories of the Strong, Weak, and Electromagnetic Interactions

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 40 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Discuss the conditions in the early universe required for an asymmetry between matter and anti-matter to evolve.
  • What energy is released in the fusion of deuterium and hydrogen into tritium?
  • Discuss working mechanism and special features of cancer treatment using ion beams.
  • The quark model describes hadrons as bound states of constituent quarks and anti-quarks. Give the quark/anti-quarks content of mesons and baryons and their anti-particles.
  • What are the partciles and symmetries of the theory describing the strong interaction in the standard model?
  • Give experimental evidence supporting three color charges.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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