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Particle Physics with Neutrons 1

Module PH2066

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 2018/9 (current)

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

available module versions
WS 2018/9WS 2016/7WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2066 is a semester module in 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 nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

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 30 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2066 is Peter Fierlinger.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module provides an overview of the field of particle physics with neutrons. The introductory part deals with the interaction of neutrons with matter. Sources of neutrons, cold and ultra-cold neutrons, as well as instrumentation and the necessary knowledge are explained. In the following, the role of neutrons in the particle and astrophysics will be discussed. Here, the standard model of particle physics is treated with emphasis Neutron Physics and  experiments to test the Standard Model of particle physics are presented, such as the measurement of lifetime and decay parameters of the free neutron.

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of this module, the students are able to

  1. explain the principles of neutron physics
  2. to understand experimental methods in neutron physics and instrumentation and to make estimations,
  3. to explain the role of neutrons in the standard model of particle physics and astrophysics


The module is best suited for Master students. No prior knowledge in excess of the prerequisites for the master programme required.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Particle Physics with Neutrons 1 Fierlinger, P. Mon, 09:00–18:00
and singular or moved dates

Learning and Teaching Methods

In the lecture the learning content is presented via ex-cathedra teaching with projected slides and additional explanations on the blackboard. Scientific discussions are encouraged and the students can present a short talk on a recent research outcome. The lecturer will come up with a list of talk topics and will provide refernces to articles that can be used as a starting point to prepare such talks.


  • Blackboard
  • Presentation as download
  • Lecture notes as download
  • Web page


Standard text books for neuton physics. The lecture is close to:

J. M. Byrne, Neutrons, Nuclei and Matter, IOP Publishing (1994)

The lecturer provides texts for further reading for students who want to give a short talk on recent research outcomes.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of about 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, order of magnitude estimates and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Explain which methods can be used to produce ultra cold neutrons
  • Sketch Ramsey's method of separated oscillatory fields
  • Explain the motivation for the measurement of the electric dipole moment of the neutron

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

Participation in the tutorials 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 PH2106: Teilchenphysik mit Neutronen 2 / Particle Physics with Neutrons 2 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.

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