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.

Investigate the properties of radioactive nuclei using spectroscopic techniques. 

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Exotic nuclei, in their long-lived ground and excited states, are produced in nuclear reactions, transported through an 8T superconducting solenoid magnet to separate them in time and space from the intense beam-induced background, before studying their decay with an array of electron and gamma-ray detectors.

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Exotic nuclei far from stability can be produced in relativistic fragmentation reactions and stored as fully-stripped, hydrogen- or helium-like ions in a synchrotron. Measurement of the synchrotron frequency can be used to determine their mass to a precision of 1 in 108 and it is even possible to measure the energies of long-lived excited states through direct application of Einstein’s relation, E=mc2.

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