PHYSICS 362L - Rory Coker
Prof. Rory Coker
Office: PMA 8.312
Phone: (512) 471-5194 (not recommended)
Fax: (512) 471-9637
Email: rory coker's civilian mail, coker's physics department mail

Office HoursThur, 2 - 3 PM; Tue, 3 to 4 PM, in PMA 8.312, on days when there is a Pizza Seminar.

[C2] [S] [A] [OK] [F] [T] [KC] [T] [T2]

The Fall 2023 unique number is 57725; the class meets from 10 to 11 AM, MWF in PMA 7.104. The TA is Joshua J Ziegler <>.
Questions to him via e-mail are welcome.  His office hours are Tue 3 PM, Fri 1 PM in PMA 9.318.

Text: SUBATOMIC PHYSICS, 3rd Edition, by Henley and Garcia (World Scientific, 2007, 2010). Errata for Ch. 6, and errata for Ch. 11.  [I have located a free pdf version of the text, here.]  And here is a very compact introduction to the theory of scattering. A short course in nuclear physics. Highly recommended as a supplementary text: PARTICLES AND NUCLEI, 7th edition, by Povh, Rith, Scholz, Zetsche and Rodejohann (Springer, 2015). The only reason I don't use this as the primary text is that it has no homework problems. A nice introduction to relativistic quantum field theory,
which is NOT used in this course, is Quantum Field Theory as Simply as Possible, by A. Zee (Princeton University Press, 2023).

Syllabus and first day handout. Basis of course letter grade: Homework 85%, daily pop quizzes 15%.

Other books on course topics:
  •  Particle Physics in the LHC Era, by G. Barr, R. Devenish, R. Walczak and T. Weidberg, Oxford, 2016.
  • Modern Particle Physics, by M. Thomson, Cambridge, 2013.
  •  Particle Physics, by D. Carlsmith, Pearson, 2013.
  •  Nuclear Physics in a Nutshell, by C. A. Bertulani, Princeton, 2007.
  • Basic Ideas and Concepts in Nuclear Physics, by K. Heyde, 3rd Ed., IOP London, 2004.
  •  An Introduction to Nuclear Physics, by W. N. Cottingham and D. A. Greenwood, 2nd Ed., Cambridge, 2001.
  •  Introductory Nuclear Physics, by P. E. Hodgson, E. Gadioli and E. Gadioli Erba, Oxford, 1997.
  • A Prelude to Quantum Field Theory, by J. Donoghue and L. Sorbo, Princeton, 2022).

  • People doing Subatomic research here at UT Austin!

    HW1, high grade 100, low grade 80, average 92. HW2,  High grade 100, low grade 70, average 91.5. HW3
    [The in-class quizzes are attendance checks, but if you miss the question take that as a self-diagnosis of not keeping up in the course!]
    Answers to in-class quizzes: (1) The coupling of particle property to field for the strong interaction is called color.  Unfortunately the quanta or
    virtual bosons of the field (gluons) also carry color, which makes the field very nasty to work with.  (2) Compare quarks in the initial and final states.  There is no anti-charm quark in the final state, but there was one in the initial state, so the decay process changes flavor and must be a weak interaction.  (3) The Biot-Savart law shows us that dB is proportional to the differential line element vector crossed into the unit vector in the direction of r, so B must be an axial vector.  (4) The process involves only hadrons, and the initial state contains a charm quark while
    the final state does not, so this must be a hadronic weak decay.   (5) A renormalizable theory of fundamental forces requires local gauge invariance.  (6) The mixing of eigenstates of angular momentum in the deuteron's one bound state is due to the fact that the nucleon-nucleon interaction contains a noncentral term, the so-called "tensor term."  (7) The "Eightfold Way" used only u, d and s quarks... as vectors in (S, T3) space, they described all baryons and mesons known at the time, and predicted a new baryon.  (8) Probability is conserved only for real potentials.  Adding an imaginary term takes into account the fact that not every incident particle is elastically scattered from the nucleus. (9) The excitation spectrum of 238U provides a classic example of the rotational spectrum of a permanently deformed nucleus.

    Course notes: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.  Notes for the last few weeks of the course are entirely on the web pages projected during the class lectures.

    CLASS SLIDES FOR 362L: Accelerators &relativity, Diagrams, cross sections, Running coupling constants, Particles, Observing, Symmetry, Isospin, PCT, EM radiation, Weak 1, Gauge Symmetry, Electroweak1, Strong1, Supersymmetry? Quarkonium, Valence Quarks, FermiGas, IMP, Optical Model, Heavy ions, Direct Reactions, Mass Formula, Nuclear Vibrations, Nuclear Rotations, The Little Bang, Unstable Nuclei, Radiation, Power, Fusion, Stars, Evolution, Late Stages, Neutron Stars, Nucleosynthesis, Pioneers, Cosmology, The Big Flash! Dark Matter, More, Matter Origins, Dark Energy, Inflation, When Chiral Symmetry Breaks, Strings, Black Hole History, Black Hole Primer, Quantum Gravity? Loop Quantum Gravity, CDT-CS, Frontiers? [The remaining two links were not used in this class.] Unused 1, Unused 2

    This class is using the Lectures Online recording system. This system records the audio and video material presented in class for you to review after class. Links for the recordings will appear in the Lectures Online tab on the Canvas page for this class. You will find this tab along the left side navigation in Canvas. To review a recording, simply click on the Lectures Online navigation tab and follow the instructions presented to you on the page. The recorded lectures are not videos of the lecture. They have only the audio track, and  views of the specific document camera and computer images projected on screen during class. You can learn more about how to use the Lectures Online system at this link. You can find additional information about Lectures Online at this link.

    Here is a way to get extra credit!