FYS3500 – Introduction to Nuclear and Particle Physics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course is an introduction to nuclear and particle physics, from the universe's elementary particles and the forces that act between them, to the quantum structure of systems composed of elementary particles. Weight is given to current challenges and new results from cutting-edge research.

Learning outcome

After this course:

  • you can apply fundamental conservation laws and symmetries to judge the viability of production and decay processes for nuclei and elementary particles.
  • you have insight into the interplay between theory, models, and data from modern experiments and into how the major open questions are being addressed.
  • you have a basic understanding of nuclear properties and models that describe the quantum structure, decay, and reactions of nuclei.
  • you have basic knowledge about the Standard Model of elementary particles and interactions (including the role of the Higgs boson).
  • you have basic knowledge about the quark-gluon plasma (the universe's matter content and state right after the Big Bang).
  • you know about the roles of nuclear and particle physics in energy production, medicine, and astrophysics - for example how to search for dark matter and how to understand the origin of the elements in the universe.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

This course is only for students admitted to the programs Physics and Astronomy, or Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge


The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to attend, the Department of Physics has to be informed no later than the same day (e-mail studieinfo@fys.uio.no), or else you will lose your place in the course.

Four hours of lectures per week, a total of 60 hours.

There will be a one-day excursion to a reactor in Halden and a several day excursion to CERN. Several lectures will be given while at CERN. These excursions shall not incur additional costs for the students.

Regulations for mandatory assignments can be found here.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


A homeexam mid semester counts 25% of final grade, while a written four hour final exam, counts 75% of the final grade. The home exam must be passed in order to qualify for the final exam.

Examination support material

Table of nuclides

Approved calculator

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)