-1+1375 
Nuclear Reactor Physics : Neutronics

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.

Lectures
  1. Useful Definitions

    This lecture defines different quantities (cross-sections, reaction rate, angular flux, ...) that will be used later on.

  2. The Boltzmann Equation

    This lecture introduces and constructs the Boltzmann equation.

  3. 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.

  4. The Diffusion Equation

    This lecture introduces and constructs the Diffusion equation.

  5. The Multigroup Equations

    This lecture introduces and constructs the Multigroup equations, and gives an example on a two-group diffusion problem.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Resonant Absorption

    This lectures introduces the principle of the resonant absorption.

Prerequisites

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.

Syllabus

Information is available on the dedicated website

I strongly recommend that you ckeck out this website, but here are the main information anyway :

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.

Additional information

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

Teacher qualifications

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.

Latest Update
Lecture 8 is up! (2013-09-28 09:20:48)

"Hello all !

Well, once again, it's been a long, long while. I must say I'm very sorry for that. The main reason that I'm late to publish this new lecture is that my wife and I just had a little baby, and boy does that take a lot of time.

The eighth lecture, "The Absortion Resonances" is available for download on the course website. I will later on add the corresponding homeworks.

I also STILL have to post homework for the fifth, sixth and seventh lectures. That will be done as soon as possible.

Let me give you some useful links again :

Link to the UofR class page : Don't forget to sign up !

Link to the classroom : Note that a discussion forum is also available on the course website. I'll try my best to cross-post the threads on both platforms so that everyone can see everything.

Link to the course website : Well, everything is there. I tried to make it pretty straightforward, but do not hesitate to send me ideas to improve this course !

Have fun and good luck !"

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