Syllabus for NUC-413



Radiation Interactions is an advanced undergraduate course that builds on fundamental concepts in radiation physics. It is a study of the interaction of charged particles with matter. The course serves two purposes. First, it reviews the physics of the atom, radioactive decay, and the interaction of radiation with matter. Second, it describes the methods of radiation detection and radiation dosimetry and shielding.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss the atomic model.
  2. Explain nuclear radiation and the nucleus.
  3. Calculate radioactive decay curves.
  4. Discuss interaction of heavy charged particles with matter.
  5. Discuss interactions of electrons and positrons with matter.
  6. Explain the characteristics of charged particle tracks.
  7. Discuss interactions of photons with matter.
  8. Discuss interactions of neutrons with matter.
  9. Compare and contrast methods of radiation detection.
  10. Discuss energy absorption and radiation dosimetry.
  11. Calculate radiation attenuation and shielding.


You will need the following textbook to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

  • Atoms, Radiation, and Radiation Protection, by James E. Turner, 3rd ed. (Wiley, 2007).

ISBN-13: 978-3527406067


Radiation Interactions is a three-credit online course, consisting of eleven modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Radiation Interactions has two graded class discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required discussion in Module 1 titled "Introductions."

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in the group study activities involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and subsequent contributions as part of a group effort to formulate an answer.

You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are group activities. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Written Assignments

Radiation Interactions has eleven written assignments; one for each of the modules that make up the course.

Each written assignment tests you on the reading material assigned and consists of definitions and a series of questions. For Modules 2, 7, and 11 you are additionally assigned problems to complete.

Take the time to read through the written assignment questions before you begin each lesson. Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the course materials.

Prepare your written activities using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first activity, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your activity as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Midterm Examination

The midterm examination covers the material presented in Modules 1–6 and consists of multiple-choice questions and short answer questions.

The examination is two hours in duration. It is closed-book but you are permitted to use blank scratch paper.

Note: You are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial) but may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

Final Examination

The examination covers all the material presented in the course and consists of multiple-choice questions and short answer questions.

The examination is two hours in duration. It is closed-book but you are permitted to use blank scratch paper.

Note: You are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial) but may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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