Experimental Nuclear and Particle Physics 101



This page has been designed as a starting point for students interested in nuclear and particle physics.

How to read a scientific article
By Dr. Laurel S. Collins at FIU's Department of Earth Sciences

Nuclear and Particle Physics for everybody

The Contemporary Physics Education Project offers three very nice introductions to Nuclear Science, Plasma Physics and Fusion, and Fundamental Particles and Interactions. We highly recommend you take the tour through The ABC's of Nuclear Science and The Particle Adventure.

National Nuclear Science Week


Journals and Search Engines

Experimental Nuclear & Particle Physics Tool Box

OK, now you have gotten interested and maybe even landed a job as an undergraduate or graduate research assistant in the FIU lab. However, even if you already took an introductory level nuclear physics course, you might feel overwhelmed by the jargon used in the lab. If you don't know yet what a photomultiplier or the missing mass is, check out The Particle Detector BriefBook. There you will find a list of common expressions with a short explanation and a literature reference. You also might want to check the The Data Analysis BriefBook, especially, if you have no clue what a Poisson distribution or a Kolmogorov test is. And the treasure chest as such is the Particle Data Book with everything we know about every particle we know and many useful summary articles, including detector technology.

Data Analysis: Statistics and Errors
See Roger Barlows page: http://www.hep.man.ac.uk/u/roger/

Writing Papers and Theses:

AIP Style Manual: http://www.aip.org/pubservs/style/4thed/toc.html

Computers & Software:

Operating systems

In the nuclear and particle physics community, we mainly use UNIX or LINUX as operating systems (sorry Bill ;-). Because of its free availablity and the affordability of fast PCs, more and more systems are running LINUX. You need to learn LINUX. Here are some on-line resources:
  Many more links can be found at Steve's Linux Links and many more sites. Let me know, when you find something useful.

Programing languages

A lot of software that we use has been written in Fortran, however, the future trend seems to be toward C++. You should at least learn the latter and depending on your specific needs both. Here some links:

General C++ learning links:

Book on learning C++:
"The C++ Programming Language" Bjarne Stroustrup, 1997

ROOT tutorials and examples:
The $ROOTSYS/tutorials directory has many examples of root c++ scripts

A set of lectures on how to use root:
Scientific Computing at JLab Wiki: https://wiki.jlab.org/cc/external/wiki/index.php/Scientific_Computing


The international language for physics is English. In case you need some tutoring check out http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/.

General analysis and Monte Carlo software

The most commonly used data analysis and plotting packages are PAW (Fortran based) and its successor ROOT (C++ based), both developed at CERN . [Did you know that the www has been invented at CERN?]

Jefferson Lab specific software:



ODU Accelerator Physics Course (PHYSICS 417/517)

FIU Nuclear Physics Home Page  Jefferson Lab Home Page