FYS3520 – Nuclear physics, structure and spectroscopy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Basic characteristics of the atomic nucleus. Single-particle motion and collective characteristics. Thermodynamics and low energy phase transitions in the nucleus. Radioactive disintegration processes. Nuclear reactions, fission and fusion. Super heavy nuclei and nuclei with extreme proton and neutron numbers. Nucleosynthesis in stars and supernovae. Nuclear medicine, proton therapy and PET. Reactor physics and ADS thorium power plants.

Learning outcome

The student should:

  • be able to explain basic properties in the atomic nucleus. In more detail: one-particle motion and collective characteristics, thermodynamics and low energy phase transitions, radioactive disintegration processes, nuclear reactions, fission and fusion.
  • know about super heavy nuclei and nuclei with extreme proton and neutron numbers, nucleosynthesis in stars and supernovae, nuclear medicine, proton therapy and PET, reactor physics and ADS thorium power plants. The objective of this course is to give students a knowledge base when writing a master thesis in Experimental or Theoretical Nuclear Physics.

The student should be able to:

  • show insight into the fundamental properties of the atomic nucleus, both the experimental and theoretical parts of the nucleus’ structure and dynamics.
  • understand the different processes that determine the amounts of different elements in our solar system.
  • evaluate various nuclear applications in medisine and energy.


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.


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).


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

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.


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

The course will not be taught spring 2018, but will be replaced by another course FYS3500.


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)