NE 102
Course Title:
Nuclear Reactions and Radiation Laboratory
Course Units:
3
Catalog Description:
 Laboratory course in nuclear physics. Experiments will allow students to directly observe phenomena discussed in Nuclear Engineering 101. These experiments will give students exposure to (1) electronics, (2) alpha, beta, gamma radiation detectors, (3) radioactive sources, and (4) experimental methods relevant for all aspects of nuclear science. Experiments include: Rutherford scattering, xray fluorescence, muon lifetime, gammagamma angular correlations, Mossbauer effect, and radon measurements.
Course Prerequisite:
 NE 101 Nuclear Reactions and Radiation
Course Objectives:
It is the instructor's intention to...
 introduce students to various types of detectors used to measure alpha, beta, gamma and xray radiations, and the electronic systems used to count and measure such radiations
 introduce students to the concept of experimental uncertainty, the statistics of radiation counting, error propagation, and the analysis of experimental results.
 teach students how to make laboratory measurements of alpha and gammaray energy spectra, nuclear halflives, gammagamma angular correlations, xray fluorescence spectra, and record and report laboratory results.
Course Outcomes:
 Explain the characteristics and uses of silicon, germanium, sodiumiodide, liquid, and plastic scintillation detectors
 Explain the functions and uses of standard nuclear electronic modules: shaping amplifiers, singlechannel analyzers, timetoamplitude converters, and analog to digital converters
 Perform nuclear counting and spectroscopy experiments, record the results, analyze the data, and write a report describing the experiment, data, analysis, and conclusion
 Calculate the uncertainties in nuclear counting experiments and utilize the uncertainties in the analysis of experimental results
 Give an oral presentation describing the results of your experiment

Use radiation detection systems to:
 determine the lifetime of the muon
 measure alpha and gammaray energy spectra and determine radioactive halflives
 perform qualitative elemental analysis by xray fluorescence
 measure the energy width of a nuclear excited using the Mossbauer effect
 carry out laboratory research in groups of two to four students; analyze the data and determine results through a combination of individual study and exchange of ideas with classmates
Topics Covered:
 Alpha, beta, gamma decay
 How scintillation detectors work
 How semiconductor detectors work
 Basics of analog nuclear electronics
 Data analysis and error propagation
 Applications
Class/Laboratory Schedule:
 One 50minute lecture and one 50minute student presentation session per week; four hours of laboratory per week
Assessment of Student Progress Toward Course Objectives:
 Laboratory writeups: 50%
 Performance in lab: 25%
 Class presentation: 25%