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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course comprises two half units, Nuclear physics and semiconductor physics, both of huge technological  importance.  In the nuclear physics section, the competing forces that act within the nucleus will be examined and how this leads to the concept of binding energy.  How binding energy can be liberated in fusion and fission processes and reactors will then be explored.  In semiconductor physics, the physics of charge carriers and charge transport  in semiconductors will be examined and how this can be utilized in a huge variety of semiconductor devices such as diodes and transistors.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Geoffrey Dunn

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course will develop the basic ideas of band theory, followed by the development of semiconductor physics which builds on both Boltzmann and Fermi-Dirac statistics. The underlying concepts in semiconductor physics will develop from the movement of charge in solids, number densities of charge carriers, equilibrium then non-equilibrium semiconductors and will conclude with consolidation of these ideas through their application in the pn junction diode. In the second half, Nuclear models, nuclear shells and magic numbers; radioactive decay; fission, fusion, nuclear reactions and types of reactors; production of radionuclides; reactors, linear accelerators and cyclotrons will be covered.

Further Information & Notes

This course alternates with PX4510.  This course will not run in 2015-16.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: One two hour examination (75%) and (25%) continuous assessment. Resit: One two hour examination (100%).


Formative Assessment

Students progress will be assessed in the weekly tutorial sessions.


Feedback in assessments will be within two weeks (usually one week) for written assessments and immediately in formative tutorial tasks.

Course Learning Outcomes


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