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Fundamentals of Nuclear Science & Engineering
Prof. John R. White

Summary Course Description:
This course provides an overview of a variety of fundamental nuclear science and engineering concepts that form the basis for all contemporary nuclear technology applications. The course topics include basic atomic and nuclear physics, some concepts from modern physics, an overview of some important nuclear models and nuclear stability considerations, basic nuclear reactions and the conservation laws that govern these interactions, various radioactive decay and transmutation processes, and the interaction of neutrons and gamma rays with matter. The course also includes the study of the energy dependence of neutron and gamma cross sections, the slowing down process, the computation of microscopic and macroscopic reactions rates, and the characterization of different materials used in a variety of nuclear applications. A variety of practical applications are highlighted.

Last Taught: The last time I taught this course was during Spring 2016.

Course-Related Educational Resources:
I have taught different versions of this Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) course many times over the past 30+ years. In the current Nuclear Engineering (NE) sequence at UMass-Lowell, this is the first course that all NE students must take in their sophomore year, and it provides the needed prerequisite for the junior-level Nuclear Reactor Theory course and all subsequent NE courses.

For Spring 2016, the primary course topics roughly followed the first seven chapters of the Fundamentals of Nuclear Science and Engineering, 2nd Ed. text by Shultis and Faw for much of the technical content. However, additional material was also utilized to give added details and specific examples for many of the topics discussed in the course. Note also that Chapters 8 - 14 of the Shultis and Faw text focus on a variety of important applications of NSE. Although these chapters were not covered explicitly in the course, many of the applications discussed in these chapters were highlighted -- with special focus on nuclear reactor applications -- in various in-class examples and the homework problems.

The course resources available here include some formal lecture notes, the classroom presentations, and the specific HWs and exams from Spring 2016. Hopefully you will find some of these materials useful in your studies of this subject!   Enjoy...

Resource List:
Formal Lecture Notes

Slides from Classroom Presentations

Spring 2016 HW Assignments (with Solutions) and Exams

Last updated by Prof. John R. White (February 2020)

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