Modern Aspects of Nuclear Physics

summer term 2022
Lecturer: Schweda Braun-Munzinger
Link to LSF
18 participants


This course gives a selected overview of aspects in nuclear physics that

came to the forefront of active research within the recent 5 - 10 years.

Substantial progress made in various subfields is discussed in detail. The

target audience are master students in their first or second year that are

interested in the field. This course serves as an entry point for active research

in nuclear and high-energy heavy ion physics, e.g. by starting a master

thesis, and is divided into three parts.

Part 1 covers static properties of the nucleon, e.g. its quark and gluon

structure. Special emphasis is given to the latest insight into the structure of

the nucleon, where results from elastic electron scattering and laser

spectroscopy of the hydrogen hyper-fine structure led to contradicting results.

The newest relevant experiments leading to the resolution of this proton

radius puzzle are discussed. Another aspect is the distribution of partons

inside the nucleon and nuclei. Novel effects might lead to a saturation of the

gluon density inside the nucleon and heavy nuclei. Planned experiments at

the CERN Large Hadron Collider as well as at the Electron-Ion Collider that is

presently being constructed at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) will

shed light on this fundamental issue.

Part 2 addresses the structure of nuclei in extremis, i.e. at largest neutron

numbers until the drip line and beyond. Latest results from experiment and

theory on how to understand the synthesis of nuclei as heavy as uranium and

beyond are discussed. Supernova explosions and the merging of pairs of

neutron stars play a key role in understanding the heavy element production

in the universe. A new window in (nuclear) astrophysics was opened with the

first observation of gravitational waves GW170817 by the LIGO and Virgo

collaborations, where the merging of a neutron star binary was observed.

This promises insight into the equation of state of dense nuclear matter and

progress towards a complete understanding of nuclear abundances in the


Part 3 discusses key developments in relativistic nuclear collisions where

conditions of the early universe, ranging from a few picoseconds to a few

microseconds after the big bang, are investigated in the laboratory. The

CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the flagship that is operating since ten

years. Abundances of hadrons that are created during the quark-gluon to

hadron phase transition can be understood to good precision within a thermal

model description, leading to an understanding of the quark-hadron phase

transition. Transport observables such as the shear-viscosity-to-entropydensity

ratio reach a universal quantum limit. This limit can be derived from

an AdS/CFT correspondence principle and is thus related to string theory.

Charmonium (charm-anticharm bound states) and multi-charm hadron

production is a harbinger of deconfinement. Recent key results from the LHC

and BNL RHIC collaborations are discussed and confronted with theory.

Exercise sheets

Practice groups

  • Group 1 (Kai Schweda / Peter Braun-Munzinger)
    18 participants
    Tue, 11:15 - 12:45: INF 227 / SR 2.402, Fri, 11:15 - 12:45: INF 226, K2-3,
Modern Aspects of Nuclear Physics
summer term 2022
Schweda Braun-Munzinger
Link zum LSF
18 participants