Potential student research projects

The Research School of Physics & Engineering performs research at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.

By undertaking your own research project at RSPE you could open up an exciting career in science.

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Physics of the Nucleus

Measuring exotic long-lived nuclear states in storage rings

The project aims to examine the heavy neutron-rich region of the nuclear chart. Currently, these nuclides are poorly studied, giving scope for investigations into the region. Analysing a current data set the project proposes to use Schottky Mass Spectrometry for direct mass measurements of nuclear isomeric states proving Einstein's E=mc2.

Dr Matthew Reed, Dr Gregory Lane, Emeritus Professor George Dracoulis

Designing an X-ray fluorescence detector for heavy element studies

In this project, students will explore detector designs and configurations to be used for X-ray fluorescence studies in heavy ion reactions.

Dr Elizabeth Williams, Professor David Hinde, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner

Reactions of weakly-bound and exotic radioactive nuclei

We are developing Austalia's first high energy radioactive beam capability, and now have the world's best capability to reconstruct breakup into charged fragments

Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde, Dr Duc Huy Luong

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner

How to create new super-heavy elements

Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

Professor David Hinde, Dr Elizabeth Williams, Dr Cédric Simenel

The pair conversion decay of the Hoyle state

The triple–alpha reaction leading to the formation of stable carbon in the Universe is one of the most important nuclear astrophysical processes.  This project is aiming to improve our knowledge of the triple-alpha reaction rate from the direct observation of the electron-positron pair decays of the Hoyle state in 12C.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

Zeptosecond dynamics of the Femtoworld

Fundamental concepts of quantum physics (tunnelling, entanglement, decoherence, dissipation...) are investigated in the framework of nuclear dynamics using state of the art theoretical simulation tools.  

Dr Cédric Simenel

Quantum tunnelling and decoherence in nuclear collisions

This research project, with both experimental and theoretical angles, is creating a new perspective on reversibility and irreversibility in nuclear interactions.

Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde, Dr Cédric Simenel

Updated:  12 November 2013/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster