The Building Blocks of Matter
Reference EBSERV03000023
Taught in Third Year Bachelor of Engineering Physics
Theory (A) 22.5
Exercises (B) 15.0
Training and projects (C) 0.0
Studytime (D) 180.0
Studypoints (E) 6
Credit contract? Access is determined after successful competences assessment
Examination contract? This course can not be taken through this kind of contract
Credit contract mandatory if Exam contract? Separate credit contract mandatory
Retake possible? Yes
Teaching Language Dutch
Lecturer Dirk Poelman
Department WE04
Co-lecturers Dirk Ryckbosch
Christophe Leys
Key Words

nuclear physics, atomic and molecular spectra, plasma technology

Position of the Course

Introduction, mainly through laboratory sessions, to the advances in physics during the last century that have led to the discovery of the structures (interactions and elementary building blocks) of matter. Also a number of technical applications of these new insights will be highlighted.
Starting with more complex systems (plasmas, molecules, atoms) we proceed, via the nucleus, to the world of elementary particles where the fundamentel interactions can be observed in their purest form.


  • Ionised matter: Workshop 1: low-pressure gas discharge, Workshop 2: mass spectroscopy, Workshop 3: gas purification
  • Atomic and molecular physics: Workshop 4: X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Workshop 5: EPR of magnetic resonance, Workshop 6: UV-Vis-NIS Absorption and luminescence spectroscopy, Workshop 7: IR spectroscopy
  • Sub-atomic physics: Overall properties of the nucleus, Workshop 8: radioactive decay, Workshop 9: nuclear tomography, Workshop 10: cosmic radiation

Starting Competences

Physics, Quantum Mechanics

Teaching and Learning Material

* Syllabus available * Notes for lab excercises available


  • "Quantum Mechanics", B.H. Bransden and C.J. Joachain,
  • Longman Scientific & Technical, ISBN 0-582-44498-5

Course Content-Related Study Coaching

Teaching Methods

Classroom lectures; Lab sessions

Evaluation Methods

Evaluation throughout semester

Examination Methods

During semester: graded lab sessions. Second chance: Possible

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