Neutron physics is the study of the travel of neutrons through matter and the resulting reactions, most notably power generation via the fission of nuclei of heavy atoms, i.e. nuclear reactor cores.
- Useful Definitions
This lecture defines different quantities (cross-sections, reaction rate, angular flux, ...) that will be used later on.
- The Boltzmann Equation
This lecture introduces and constructs the Boltzmann equation.
- Chain Reaction and Point Kinetics
This lecture contains a lot more text than mathematics, and explain the concept of chain reaction and introduces point kinetics.
- The Diffusion Equation
This lecture introduces and constructs the Diffusion equation.
- The Multigroup Equations
This lecture introduces and constructs the Multigroup equations, and gives an example on a two-group diffusion problem.
- Neutron Slowing-Down - Part I
This lectures introduces the principle of the neutron slowing-down. It is closely related to the next lecture (Part II).
- Neutron Slowing-Down - Part II
This lectures takes after the previous one (hence the part 2!...) and tackle the problem of neutron slowing-down from a mathematical point of view.
- Resonant Absorption
This lectures introduces the principle of the resonant absorption.
I am listing two prerequisites for this class.
The first one, and the more important to my mind, is the University of Reddit course "Nuclear and Radiochemistry" I recommend to read through at least chapter 3. While you could possibly do without, it goes over very useful and interesting stuff.
The second one is also a University of Reddit class, "Ordinary Linear Differential Equations". Even though it is not an absolute requirement (I will go over the mathematics you need to know in this class), it will make things easier.
Note that it can be done in parallel, you don't have to complete the prerequisites before taking this class. I will anyway happily answer any question you may have.
Information is available on the dedicated website
I strongly recommend that you ckeck out this website, but here are the main information anyway :
The class has started.
The class material (lectures, homework) will be uploaded there.
It will also be linked on this very page, as well as in the dedicated subreddit.
A message will let you know of any update.
As of today, I am still working on the website. New sections will probably be added. If you have any suggestion, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Please, please do not hesitate to ask question, to give ideas and suggestions, and to tell me if you are having difficulties. The main reason why I only post lectures every other week is so that you have time to work on the homework without pressure. There are no deadlines anyway, don't worry. Refer to the FAQ for more information.
The other reason why I will post lectures only every other week is that it takes a lot of time and I have a lot of things to do. It may happen that I fall behind, in which case I will let you know (i will do my best so that it doesn't happen).
I set up a subreddit, r/NeutronPhysics. I recommend you to use it to post questions, discuss problems, ask for help, etc. Having an active student community makes everything more fun and help boost your motivation.
If you emailed/messaged me and that I did not answer at all within two days, please re-send your message (maybe using another mean).
I really hope you will enjoy this class.
The ureddit email address being unavailable for me as of today, please contact me via reddit message
I have a BS in Physics and in Mathematics from a renowned university, a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the CEA, and I currently work as a Nuclear engineer for EDF.