Home Classes Ph 203 Spring 2024

Ph 203 Spring 2024

Phys 203 - Nuclear Physics, April - June 2024

Physics 203 is a 10-week introduction and overview of modern topics in nuclear physics, including models and structures of nucleons, nuclei and nuclear matter, QCD, and nuclear/neutrino astrophysics.


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Instructor: Brad Filippone
Office: 360 Lauritsen Lab;  Mail Code: 356-48; Phone: x4517; E-mail: bradf AT caltech.edu

Course assistant: Leona Kershaw (lkershaw AT caltech.edu)

TA: Huma Jafree (hjafree@caltech.edu)

TA Office Hours: Wednesdays 4pm-5pm in Lauritsen 369

Ph125 or equivalent, Ph205 is useful

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30-11:55, 289 Linde

Textbooks for Phys 203:
Carlos Bertulani, Nuclear Physics in a Nutshell

Rajat Bhaduri, Models of the Nucleon


Problem Sets:
Due on Thursday at 5pm. Please submit your homework via Gradescope. Solution sets will be posted on the web. You are strongly encouraged to study your returned set and be sure to understand any parts that lost points.  Problem sets are essential for mastering the material in this class!

Homework Grading: Each problem in a problem set is worth 10 points. However, when counting grades at the end of the quarter, the total points of all problem sets will be normalized so that they share the same fraction, even if they may not have the same number of problems.

Exams: None

Grading: P/F 100% problem sets

Office Hours: by request


  • OFFICIAL policy: Work (the entire problem set) will be accepted up to one week late at 1/2 credit, no credit thereafter. Please put a note at the top of your problem set if it is late.
  • One extension (for up to one week) is allowed without question (your silver bullet). Please put a note at the top of your problem set that you are using your silver bullet.
  • Additional extension requests should be accompanied by a good excuse (eg, major illness), and should be accompanied by a note from the dean.
  • Please post late or extension problem and then  email the appropriate grader.
  • Late papers make far more work for the graders, who have their own set of pressures and deadlines as graduate students. There is no entitlement to extensions, so please do not be demanding.

Honor Code and Collaboration policy:

  • All work is governed by the honor system.
  • You may not use sources that contain the answer to a problem or to a very similar problem.
  • In particular, do not use solution sets from previous years, problem/solution books, or internet searches at any time.
  • Discussion with others is encouraged, but then you should write it up; the work you hand in must be your own.
  • Mathematica may be used in problem sets for getting past some mathematical chore (not for gaining knowledge of the physics). Occasionally Mathematica may be required for a HW problem. This problem will be clearly labeled as such. In general it is much better to master the mathematical analysis yourself without help from Mathematica. If you chose to use Mathematica anyway, make sure you simplify the result as much as possible, so that it is easy to see what the math is telling you.
  • Please attend class, and section meetings!
  • Please ask questions of the TA and the prof.
  • Please clearly write your name, date, assignment number on all of your assignments.
  • Clearly mark the problem numbers and answers.
  • Please write as neatly as possible. A human being is trying to read your work well enough to give credit!

We greatly appreciate student feedback; Providing feedback prior to the end-of-term evaluations allows the instructor to modify the class to fit your needs. I also welcome any comments in person, by email to bradf AT caltech.edu.

Handouts, Solutions, etc: Access to this website is restricted to Caltech