Megavolts Episode 3 – Environmental Nuclear Physics

Today’s visit to the HIAF Control room finds Associate Professor Stephen Tims researching sedimentation in the catchment of a lake in China.

It seems to have nothing to do with nuclear physics - but thanks to the nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s, the movement of sediment can be studied via traces of radioactive isotopes in the soil.

As Associate Professor Tims explains, it’s made possible by the remarkable sensitivity of HIAF, which can sort through the sample and find the few atoms which were created by the tests, and would otherwise not exist on earth.

For more information, visit the online tour of HIAF at


A/Prof Stephen Tims
T: (02)61252086

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