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Reactor Physics 1 and Applications of Nuclear Technology

Module PH2050

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 WS 2020/1

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
WS 2022/3WS 2021/2WS 2020/1WS 2019/20WS 2018/9WS 2017/8WS 2016/7WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2050 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

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

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

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

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2050 in the version of WS 2020/1 was Peter Böni.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Nuclear structure and fission
  • Cross sections
  • Neutron flux, reaction rate, mean free path
  • Resonant scattering and Breit-Wigner formula
  • Multiplikation of neutrons
  • Thermal neutron cycle
  • Four factor formula (Fermi)
  • Kinetics of chain reaction
  • Neutron moderation
  • Thermal, epithermal and fast neutron spectra
  • Reactor control and dynamics
  • Point-kinetic equations
  • The Forschungsneutronenquelle FRM II
  • Applications of nuclear technology

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the Module the student is able to:

  1. Understand and explain nuclear structure and fission
  2. Explain and calculate the energy release with fission
  3. Recall strong and weak types of fuel
  4. Recall and explain different types of cross sections
  5. Understand and explain neutron multiplication
  6. Understand and explain neutron moderation
  7. Understand and explain reactivity control
  8. Recall and explain the basic features of the Forschungsneutronenquelle FRM II


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module consists of a lecture (2SWS) and an accompanying exercise (2SWS). The learning outcomes of the module will be achieved via frontal lecure, written and verbal lecturing and powerpoint presentations. With cross references between different topics the universal concepts in physics are shown. The lecture will be complemented by a weekly exercise class, where students will solve problems in groupwork (~6-8 students) under the supervision of a tutor (PhD / scientific assistant) from the faculty. Records of the lecture as well as of the exercises will be made available to the students on Moodle. In addition, a visit of a commercial nuclear power plant is planned.


Presentation, blackboard


  • D. Emendörfer, K. H. Höcker: Theorie der Kernreaktoren (B I Wissenschaftsverlag 1982)
  • K. H. Beckurts, K. Wirtz: Neutron Physics (Springer Verlag 1964)
  • A. Ziegler: Lehrbuch der Reaktortechnik (Springer Verlag 1964)
  • S. Glasstone and M. C. Edlund: Kernreaktortheorie (Springer Verlag 1961)
  • W. M. Stacey, Nuclear Reactor Physics, Wiley-VCH (2004)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 30 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, discussions based on sketches and basic formulas.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Explain the structure and the stability of nuclei.
  • Explain the difference between strong and weak fission materials.
  • Explain the process of neutron moderation.
  • Discuss the spectrum of neutrons in a moderator.
  • Explain, how the power of a reactor can be regulated.

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

Remarks on associated module exams

The exam for this module can be taken together with the exam to the associated follow-up module PH2051: Reactor Physics 2 and new Concepts in Nuclear Technology / Reaktorphysik 2 und neue Konzepte in der Kerntechnik after the follwoing semester. In this case you need to register for both exams in the following semester.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Exam in Reactor physics 1 and applications of nuclear technology
Mon, 2024-02-05 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin vor 23.03.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date before 2024-Mar-23. till 2024-01-15 (cancelation of registration till 2024-02-04)
Mon, 2024-03-25 till 23:55 Dummy-Termin. Wenden Sie sich zur individuellen Terminvereinbarung an die/den Prüfer(in). Anmeldung für Prüfungstermin zwischen 25.03.2024 und 20.04.2024. // Dummy date. Contact examiner for individual appointment. Registration for exam date between 2024-Mar-25 and 2024-Apr-20. till 2024-03-24
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