Physics/Global Studies 280 Midterm Exam Guidance
You should be able to complete the midterm exam in about 75 minutes. It will be closed-book.
Your answers will be graded on their completeness, correctness, and understandability, but not on their style or punctuation.
Copies of previous midterm and final exams (some with answers) are available via the Exams page, which is accessible from the Physics 280 home page. The previous midterm and final exams are excellent study guides and studying them usually pays off handsomely.
Be aware, however, that because of events that have occurred since these exams were given, the correct answers to some questions may have changed.
You may be asked to sketch the main components of either an A-bomb or an H-bomb, label them, and describe their functions. If so, you should use the "Physics 280 designs" discussed in class.
You may be asked to describe the categories of uranium or plutonium. If so, use the IAEA categories that were discussed in class.
For uranium, these categories are low-enriched uranium (LEU) (< 20% U-235), highly-enriched uranium (HEU) (> 20% U-235), and weapons-grade uranium (80% or greater U-235).
For plutonium, these categories are reactor-grade (> 19% Pu-240 and heavier isotopes), fuel-grade (7% to 19% Pu-240 and heavier isotopes), and weapons-grade (< 7% Pu-240 and heavier isotopes).