Fall 2020 - NUSC 341 D100

Introduction to Radiochemistry (3)

Class Number: 2204

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, Wed, Fri, 9:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2020
    Wed, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Caterina Ramogida
  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 60 units in a science program, including first year calculus, chemistry and physics.



Brief description of the nucleus and its decays and reactions; interaction of radiation with matter; nuclear instrumentation; radioisotopes in chemistry; activation analysis and related analytical techniques; other applications of nuclear techniques; nuclear reactors and nuclear fusion. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Instruction:
3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week
Lecture: Synchronous
Tutorial: Synchronous

Brief description of nuclear matter, properties, sources of instability, modes of decays, nuclear reactions; interaction of ionizing radiation with matter; health physics; nuclear instrumentation; particle accelerators and radiation sources; nuclear reactors, fission and fusion, energy sources. The course will include virtual tours of TRIUMF – Canada’s particle accelerator centre, and guest lectures from Nuclear Science researchers.  

Lectures will be given synchronously (recorded and posted on Canvas afterwards). Tutorials will be given synchronously (and not recorded). Exams will be given synchronously.


Week 1 – 7:

1. History of Nuclear Science; why do we care about nuclear science?
2. Nuclear Forces, Nuclei and Isotopes, Nuclear Instability
3. Mass-Energy Relationships, Nuclear Radii, Nuclear Binding Energies (Q values)
4. Valley of Beta Stability
5. The Shell Model, Nuclear Properties, Excited Nuclei
6. Types of Radioactive Decay
7. Kinetics of Radioactive Decay

Midterm (two hours)

Week 7 – 13:

8. Nuclear Reactions
9. Absorption of Nuclear Radiation, Interaction of Radiation with Matter
10. Health Physics
11. Nuclear Medicine
12. Radiation Detectors
13. Particle Accelerators, Nuclear Reactors
14. Virtual Tour of Canada’s Particle Accelerator Centre (TRIUMF) and Life Sciences Radiochemistry Labs
15. Invited Lectures by Nuclear Science Researchers     
     • Description of job opportunities

Final exam (three hours) 


  • Midterm Exam 20%
  • Final Exam 30%
  • Assignments 20%
  • Quizzes 30%


Online Exam Invigilation: Students completing exams remotely must comply with the online invigilation procedures implemented by the course instructor.



Technology Requirements: Students are required to have a desktop or laptop computer, high-speed internet access, and a webcam and microphone (built-in or external) to participate in online courses.


Choppin, Liljenzin, Rydberg & Ekberg. Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry. 4th Edition. 2013 (available as an e-book from the library), and notes.


To be presented during the course:

Other resources:

  • Material and notes from an out of print book by Vance and Ekman, called Radiochemistry and Nuclear Methods of Analysis.
  • Dunlap, An Introduction to the Physics of Nuclei and Particles.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).