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Last updated:

December 7, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course provides an introduction to nuclear science and its engineering applications.

It describes basic nuclear models, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and kinematics; covers the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter, with an emphasis on radiation detection, radiation shielding, and radiation effects on human health; and presents energy systems based on fission and fusion nuclear reactions, as well as industrial and medical applications of nuclear science.

Course Curriculum

  • Radiation History to the Present—Understanding the Discovery of the Neutron Unlimited
  • Radiation Utilizing Technology Unlimited
  • Nuclear Mass and Stability, Nuclear Reactions and Notation, Introduction to Cross Section Unlimited
  • Binding Energy, the Semi-Empirical Liquid Drop Nuclear Model, and Mass Parabolas Unlimited
  • Mass Parabolas Continued, Stability, and Half-Life Unlimited
  • The Q-Equation—The Most General Nuclear Reaction Unlimited
  • Q-Equation Continued and Examples Unlimited
  • Radioactive Decay—Modes, Energetics, and Trends Unlimited
  • Radioactive Decay Continued Unlimited
  • Radioactivity and Series Radioactive Decays Unlimited
  • Numerical Examples of Activity, Half-Life, and Series Decay Unlimited
  • Practical Radiation Counting Experiments—Solid Angle, Count Rates, Uncertainty, and Hands-On Gamma Counting and Nuclear Activation Analysis Unlimited
  • Photon Interactions with Matter I—Interaction Methods and Gamma Spectral Identification Unlimited
  • Photon Interaction with Matter II—More Details, Shielding Calculations Unlimited
  • Nuclear Reactor Construction and Operation Unlimited
  • Ion-Nuclear Interactions I—Scattering and Stopping Power Derivation, Ion Range Unlimited
  • Ion-Nuclear Interactions II—Bremsstrahlung, X-Ray Spectra, Cross Sections Unlimited
  • Uses of Photon and Ion Nuclear Interactions—Characterization Techniques Unlimited
  • How Nuclear Energy Works Unlimited
  • Neutron Transport Unlimited
  • Simplifying Neutron Transport to Neutron Diffusion Unlimited
  • Solving the Neutron Diffusion Equation, and Criticality Relations Unlimited
  • Transients, Feedback, and Time-Dependent Neutronics Unlimited
  • Review of All Nuclear Interactions and Problem Set 7 Help Unlimited
  • Chernobyl—How It Happened Unlimited
  • Nuclear Materials—Radiation Damage and Effects in Matter Unlimited
  • Chernobyl Trip Report by Jake Hecla Unlimited
  • Nuclear Materials Science Continued Unlimited
  • Radiation Dose, Dosimetry, and Background Radiation Unlimited
  • Frontiers in Nuclear Medicine, Where One Finds Ionizing Radiation Unlimited
  • Chemical and Biological Effects of Radiation, Smelling Nuclear Bullshit Unlimited
  • Long-Term Biological Effects of Radiation, Statistics, Radiation Risk Unlimited
  • Radiation Hormesis Unlimited
  • Food Irradiation and Its Safety Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology