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

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

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The Spring 2024 unique number is 56090; the class meets from 1 to 2 PM, MWF in PMA 5.120. The TA is Noah Lindsell.  Questions to him via e-mail are welcome.  His office hours are Wed. 3 - 4 PM, PMA 2.206A.

Text: SUBATOMIC PHYSICS, 3rd Edition, by Henley and Garcia (World Scientific, 2007, 2010). Errata for Ch. 6, and errata for Ch. 11.  [A free pdf version of the text can be found by searching "pdf version of subatomic physics by henley and garcia".]  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!

    RUNNING TABLE OF HOMEWORK DUE DATES AND TIMES:   HW 1,  Average 93%, 6 students scored 100, 12 students scored in the 90s, 5 students scored in the 80s, 1 student in the 70s, and 1 student in the 60s. HW 2, Average 86%, 9 students made grades 100 to 90, 11 made 89 to 80, 4 made 79 to 70. HW 3, average 85%, 11 students made grades of 100 to 90, 9 students made 89 to 80, 2 students made 79 to 70, and one student made less than 70.   HW 4, due in class March 25, HW 5+6 due in class April 12.
    [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 diagram shows Bremmstrahlung, an electron being accelerated by the Coulomb field of a heavy nucleus, and emitting a photon.  (2) The vector potential A is a polar vector.  [For this reason A and the scalar potential naturally form a covariant four-vector.]  (3) If the isospin multiplet has 5 members, 5 values of T3, then 2T + 1 = 5 or T = 2.  (4) A typical signature of a broken secret symmetry is a Goldstone boson.  However, breaking any symmetry breaks a degeneracy, so if we know enough about the system, we can also recognize multiplets of states which exist because of the broken symmetry.  (5) Quarkonium (a meson made of a heavy quark and its antiquark) offers us the simplest 2-body system bound by the strong interaction (gluon exchange).  (6) Gell-Mann first found the word "quark" while reading the novel Finnegans Wake by James Joyce. (7) The imaginary term in the optical potential is needed to prevent conservation of probability... the potential describes only elastic scattering but many other processes are possible.  (8) Aage Bohr and Ben Mottelson received the Nobel Prize for their work on collective nuclear excitations.  (9) It is the spin-orbit term which is mainly responsible for the existence of the magic number gaps in the independent particle model of  nuclei.  (10) The semi-empirical mass equation gives a parabola for fixed A as a function of Z, just one parabola for odd-A nuclei, and two parabolas one above the other for even-even and odd-odd nuclei, with almost always just one nucleus at the bottom of the parabola.  So a nucleus will be unstable to some process or other if it has too many protons, or too many neutrons, or too many nucleons, or is initially by some decay formed in an excited state.   (11) Neutron stars seem to be our last, best hope to study highly compressed states of nuclear matter.  [By the way, Fritz Zwicky, co-discoverer and namer of dark matter, was the first person to realize neutron stars should exist, and he invented the term "supernova."]  (12) 5, TV; 4, book; 3, school lecture or presentation; 2, movie; 1 each, YouTube, cartoon, textbook, song title, magazine, game.

    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, Fermi Gas, 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, Unruh radiation, 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!