Submitted by S Hurst / Northern Arizona University on Tue, 06/28/2022 - 17:37
My Notes
Specific Course Information
Course Area and Number
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ, USA
Course Meetings and Time
Number of meetings per week
1 meeting / week
Time per meeting (minutes)
50 min / meeting
Number of weeks
15 weeks
Lab Associated
Average Class Size
5 to 15
Typical Student Population
Senior undergraduates and graduate student in chemistry disciplines.

This course (CHM 599) offers a brief introduction to the study of Nuclear Chemistry, one of the key areas of chemistry. Success in this course requires mastery of chemical vocabulary, principles, and concepts as stated in the degree program’s learning outcomes. In CHM 599, students learn how nucleons interact within the nucleus, half-lives, decay pathways and mechanisms, and nuclear cross-sections and understand the importance of the sub-atomic particles in the nucleus. Students become aware of the quantum nature of the nucleus, and how spectroscopic techniques can guide an understanding of unusual physical behaviour.

Learning Goals
  1. Students will gain a deeper understanding of nuclear chemistry and to demonstrate the relationship between nuclear chemistry and other chemical disciplines.
  2. Students will be introduced basic concepts to nuclear chemistry, including fission, fusion and other topics.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to describe the relationship between nuclear and physical/quantum chemistry. (Scientific Inquiry-LS)
  4. Students will apply mathematical descriptions to explain the components and structure of the nucleus, with a focus of the concept of the nuclear shell model. (1,10)
  5. Students will apply the equations to predict half-lives and nuclear energy barriers in gamma ray and related spectroscopic techniques. (2) (Scientific Inquiry-LS)
  6. Students will demonstrate higher-order thinking to recognize and explain the utility of nuclear chemistry concepts in the design of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. Students will demonstrate knowledge of how radioisotopes can be used in nuclear medicine and safe handling of hazardous materials. (2, 4) (Scientific Inquiry-LS)
  7. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the types and application of analytical instruments in this field and how it impacts current research and development. (11, 13)
  8. Students will demonstrate the ability to bring together relevant material on recent developments in the field of nuclear chemistry and effectively communicate these results to the audience. (8)

    (Numbers refer to Degree Learning Outcomes for the BS Chemistry which can be viewed at       

How the course is taught
In person course for multiple lectures followed by major student presentations.
Grading Scheme
Grading is composed of points assessed by:
1) Ten in-class learning exercises (quizzes),
2) Student participation and attendance, and
3) a major student exercise which is graded based on (i) presentation abstract, (ii) a five page report on the presentation topic, and (iii) a major presentation lecture (~45 minutes).
Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA