Radiation and Matter

Module code: PA3230
Module co-ordinator: Dr Graham Wynn

This module builds on your studies of quantum physics in years 1-3 and develops the basic ideas of nuclear physics, atomic physics, radiation transfer and lasers. We will study key aspects of nuclear physics including simple nuclear models, nuclear decay and reactions. We will also explore atomic physics, looking at quantum numbers, the structure of the periodic table and the spectra of simple atoms. Investigating radiation and lasers, we will cover basic radiative transfer and lasing action.

Topics covered

  • Simple nuclear models
  • Nuclear decay and reactions
  • Quantum numbers and the periodic table
  • Spectra of simple atoms
  • Radiation transfer
  • Lasing action and applications of lasers


  • 24 hours of lectures
  • 3 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of practicals/workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (30%)
  • Exam (70%)