Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Elena Irene GERACI

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims at giving the basic concepts and important tools to interpret and to study the phenomelogy of heavy ions nuclear reactions. The understanding and critical analysis of scientific papers are essential elements of the learning objectives of the course.

Knowledge and Understanding

Remarkable acquaintance with the scientific method, understanding of nature and of the research procedures in Physics. During the course the student will familiarize with main fundamentals of the phenomenology of nuclear reaction of heavy ions.

Applying Knowledge and Understanding

Ability to identify the essential elements in a nuclear reaction of heavy ions, in terms of orders of magnitude and approximation level, and being able to perform the required approximations. Ability to plan and apply experimental and theoretical procedures to solve problems in academic or applied research, or to improve existing results. Ability to develop new and innovative approaches and methods.

Making Judgements

Ability to convey own interpretations of physical phenomena, when discussing within a research team. Developing one's own sense of responsibility, through the choice of optional courses and of the final project.

Communication Skills

Ability to discuss about advanced physical concepts, both in Italian and in English.
Ability to present one's own research activity or a review topic both to an expert and to an non-expert audience. These abilities will be developed in the framework of a description of phenomena related to nuclear reactions and their interpretations.

Learning Skills

Ability to acquire adequate tools for the continuous update of one's knowledge and to access to specialized literature both in the specific field of nuclear reactions at Fermi energies and in closely related fields.

Course Structure

The course is based on lectures and lesson. Critical reading and understanding of scientific papers related to course topics.

The assessment consists in an oral exam. By means of questions related to key topics of the course content, the global level of knowledge reached by the student will be tested as well as the ability to perform a scientific reasoning of the course topics and to connect different arguments. The students will start with a presentation of one of the scientific paper discussed, followed by questions.

Should the circumstances require online or blended teaching, appropriate modifications to what is hereby stated may be introduced, in order to achieve the main objectives of the course.

Exams may take place online, depending on circumstances.

Required Prerequisites

Solid knowledge of basic elements of experimental method applied to nuclear physics.

Attendance of Lessons

Attending the classes is mandatory, with some exceptions regulated in the  Regolamento Didattico del Corso di Studi.

Detailed Course Content

Basics of the phenomenology of nuclear reactions and conservation laws. Invariant Cross Section. Kinematic Analysis of the accessible phase space of final states. Dalitz plot. Heavy Ion (H.I.) collisions. Particle-particle correlation. Relative Energy. Classification and phenomenological interpretation of H.I. reaction at low incident energy. Compound Nucleus reactions. Deep Inelastic Collisions. Wilczynski Plot. H.I. collisions at Fermi energies. Chronology of the formation time and particle emission time. Caloric Curve and multifragmentation. Equation of state of nuclear matter and related experimental determination. Nuclear reactions in Stars. Multidetector for charged particles. Ion motion in electric and magnetic field; production and transport of ion beams; electric and magnetic elements of a beam line. Particle accelerators. Applications of heavy ion physics in diagnostic and medical physics and in cancer therapy.

Textbook Information

  1. D. Durant, E. Suraud, B. Tamain: Nuclear dynamics in the nucleonic regime, IoP 2001
  2. Scientific Papers distributed during the course

For more detailed descriptions:

  1. W.S.C. Williams, Nuclear and particle physics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995
  2. E.Segrè, Nuclei e particelle, Zanichelli, 1986
  3. K.S.Krane: Introductory Nuclear Physics, 1988. Ed. Wiley & Sons,
  4. B.Povh , K.Rith, C.Scholz, F.Zetsche : Particelle e nuclei, un’introduzione ai concetti fisici, Ed. Bollati Boringhieri (1998), ristampa 2006
  5. M.A.Preston-R.K.Bhaduri, Strutture of the Nucleus, ed. Westview, 2010

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Basic concepts of nuclear reactions and conservation laws(about 2 hours)W.S.C. Williams, Nuclear and particle physics, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995 
2Invariant Cross Section Space Phase (about 2  hours)Documents distributed via email 
3Particle-Particle Correlation.Relative Energy (about 4  hours)J. Van Driel, Physics Letters 1981 98B, 5, 351 
4Introduction to nuclear reactions at low incident energy (about 2  hours)Documents distributed via email 
5Deep inelastic collisions (about 2  hours)Bertulani  http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.3275v1 
6Wilczynski Plot, paper description  (about 4  hours)Wilczynski Phys Lett 1973 Vol 47B, 6, 484 
7Heavy Ion Collisions at intermediate energies  (about 4  hours)D. Durant, E. Suraud, B. Tamain, Nuclear dynamics in the nucleonic regime, IoP 2001
8Chronology of  formation and emission time of particles   (about 6  hours)De Filippo et al, Phys. Rev. C 2005, 71, 044602 
9Caloric Curve and Multifragmentation  (about 2  hours)W. G. Lynch, Nucl Phys. A583 (1995) 471 
10Equation of state of nuclear matter and experimental determination  (about 6  hours)D. Durant, E. Suraud, B. Tamain Nuclear dynamics in the nucleonic regime, IoP 2001; and additional documents fron teacher
11Exotic Nuclei Physics  (about 6  hours)Documents distributed by the teacher
124pi multi detectors  (about 2  hours)De Souza, Pagano et al. European Physical Journal A 2006, 30(1) 


Learning Assessment Procedures

Verification of learning is given in a final oral exam. Through questions aimed at qualifying points of the various parts of the program we tend to ascertain the level of overall knowledge acquired by the candidate, his ability to critically address the topics studied and to correlate the various parts of the program.

Students will be able to begin the exam with the presentation of a topic of their choice, based on the description of one or more scientific articles related to the program. The aim is to evaluate the ability to understand the phenomenology introduced and to master the orders of magnitude involved in the collision processes.

Verification of learning can also be carried out electronically, should the conditions require it.

Criteria for awarding the final grade:
Knowledge of the fundamental notions of heavy ion physics. In-depth study of the themes developed in the course through the criticism of large-impact scientific productions.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

In the following some examples of questions proposed at the exam, but they do not constitute an exhaustive list:

  • Chronology of a heavy ions nuclear reaction
  • Experimental apparata of heavy ion physics
  • Global Variables used to characterize a nuclear collision
  • Reaction Mechanism
  • Wilcynski Plot
  • Invariant Cross Section
  • Symmetry Term in the Nucler Equation of State of Nuclear Matter