Physics of the nucleus

The School operates the premier facility in Australia for accelerator-based research in physics of the nucleus. These facilities are centred on the 14UD electrostatic heavy-ion accelerator and a new modular superconducting linear accelerator booster. The accelerators feed a variety of experiments and instrumentation, enabling the study of:

  • Fusion and Fission Dynamics with Heavy Ions
  • Nuclear Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Moments and Hyperfine Fields
  • Perturbed Angular Correlations and Hyperfine Interactions applied to Materials
  • Heavy Ion Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis (ERDA)
  • Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS)

Selected research highlights

Related departments

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a project that interests you.

This experimental project will characterize the hyperfine fields of ions emerging from target foils as highly charged ions. The data will test theoretical models we are developing, and underpin nuclear magnetism measurements on rare isotopes produced at international radioactive beam facilities such as GANIL (France), ISOLDE-CERN (Switzerland) and NSCL (USA).

» Find out more about this project

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.

» Find out more about this project

A novel technique devised at ANU has recently given a breakthrough in the precision with which the magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in sd-shell nuclei (i.e. isotopes of oxygen through to calcium) may be measured. A sequence of precise measurements will be performed to comprehensively test the shell model.

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Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

» Find out more about this project

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster