General Information about 6805 Topics in Nuclear Physics
- Course title:
- Topics in Nuclear Physics
- There is no required text to buy but there will be readings from several sources available for free online.
The prerequisite is concurrent enrollment in 5500 or 5500H quantum mechanics
or permission of Prof. Furnstahl (e.g., if you did Unit Q in 1251H and
still remember it :).
Talk to Prof. Furnstahl if you're concerned about
Nuclear physics is a wide-ranging subject, with all four forces of the standard
model playing a role (can you guess where gravity comes in?). Forefront research
in nuclear physics addresses far-reaching questions on the nature of the strong
interaction (e.g., what governs the transition of quarks and gluons into pions
and nucleons?); on atomic nuclei (e.g., what is the nature of the nuclear force
that binds protons and neutrons into stable nuclei and rare isotopes?);
on astrophysics (e.g., what is the origin of the elements in the cosmos?);
fundamental symmetries and neutrinos (e.g., why is there now more visible matter
than antimatter in the universe?); as well as societal concerns such as energy
production and diagnostic/treatment tools for medicine.
Physics 6805 will survey this wide spectrum at a level accessible to OSU physics majors.
We will take advantage of the recent development of a Nuclear Physics Long-Range Plan (LRP)
as a source of (free!) materials as well as an
example of how large-scale science works.
The pace and depth of coverage will be adjusted as we go based on feedback
from the class.
- Instructional Philosophy:
- The structure of the course is based on the observation that
"active learning" is more effective than straight lectures during which
you are passively listening. As we all know from experience, you really
learn the physics when you do problems, ask questions, and discuss the underlying concepts
(or, even more so, when you have to teach it!). So the most important part
will be discussions and actual problem solving among the participants and the
instructor. To make this possible, we will dedicate much of the class
time to discussion questions and simulations
(and we "flip" some lecture material so you look at videos and other
material outside of class
and we do discussion questions and exercises in class),
and students will be highly encouraged to
discuss and work on assignments with each other. This will be facilitated with
the online student-driven question-and-answer system (Piazza),
which can be accessed through Canvas.
There will be Piazza-based assignments
that range from two-minute problems to advanced exercises
for the experts. Some of the exercises are designed to lead the student
to go back over particular lecture material to make sure it is understood
while others extend the lecture and still others introduce topics not
yet touched upon. To avoid the assignments from becoming major time sinks,
we do not attempt to develop the type of problem-solving skills that require
students to struggle over individual problems for many hours. Rather, the
idea is to guide students rather explicitly but let them fill in details
- Prof. Richard Furnstahl
office: M2048 PRB
phone: 614-292-4830 (office) or 614-847-4026 (home)
- Class meets TWThF from 9:10am-10:05am in Smith 1094.
- Office Hours:
- By appointment (asking in class is easiest)
or just drop by Prof. Furnstahl's office (M2048).
- Assessment (grading):
- Based on in-class worksheets and participation in the online question-and-answer
forum (Pizza). The latter will include developing explanations of a few selected slides
from Long-Range Plan presentations.
[Note: The details here may evolve as we proceed through the course.]
- Other Items:
- If you have a disability that warrants special consideration for
examinations, please contact Prof. Furnstahl as soon as possible
to make appropriate arrangements. For more information, the website
for the Office of Disability Services is
- The university policy
https://oaa.osu.edu/coam-procedures-and-rules.html on academic misconduct will be followed
this guide and the FAQ).
You may (and should)
discuss homework problems with other students, with Prof. Furnstahl
or other faculty.
Most assignments will be done in groups but some will be
specified as individual (for the latter, you must submit your own
version of the assignment).
- Web Pages:
- This info:
- Course home page:
Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
[College of Arts and Sciences]
[Ohio State University]
Physics 6805 Course Information.
Last modified: 09:10 am, August 21, 2017.