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.

Nuclei are complex quantum systems and thus require advanced modelling to understand their structure properties. This project uses such models to interpret experimental data taken at the ANU and at overseas nuclear facilities.

» Find out more about this project

This research project, with both experimental and theoretical angles, is developing a new perspective on the transition from a quantum superposition to effectively irreversible outcomes in quantum collisions.

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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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Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

» Find out more about this project

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