Exciting nuclei with strange shapes

Wednesday 28 June 2017

As a kid growing up in New Zealand, Jackson Dowie was fascinated by nuclear physics, like his Kiwi predecessor Ernest Rutherford.

"I'd heard that ANU was the best place in the southern hemisphere for research," he says.

Now he's here, he’s in his element.

"The scale of the equipment, the particle accelerator, is amazing – and that’s just one department in the whole Research School."

Jackson first came to ANU for a summer scholarship on the search for dark matter - ANU is involved in SABRE, a project to use an abandoned mine in Victoria to house a dark matter detector. However for his PhD he has ended up looking for a never-before seen decay path, which could shed light on the shapes of nuclei.

"As they get excited during interactions their shapes change dramatically.

"It's stimulating and enjoyable – the deeper you look into a subject the more you find that is exciting and interesting."

Although he's like to continue into a research career, Jackson says his programming and data analysis skills will give him options should he want them down the track.

But for now, he’s happy being immersed in the PhD.

"I love the people here, they're smart and funny and it's a nice environment. I’m more at home here than anywhere else I've been."

 

Interested in joining us at ANU? Come to market day to meet potential supervisors and discuss research projects. Travel scholarships available for interstate residents.

Related news stories

The combination of antimatter and Canberra sold Tamara Babij on her PhD project. Her honours year at Flinders University in Adelaide included six months working in the positron lab at ANU Physics, which she loved so much she decided to stay in Canberra. "It was very welcoming. There were quite a few PhD students...
The combination of antimatter and Canberra sold Tamara Babij on her PhD project. Her honours year at Flinders University in Adelaide included...
Tom Shiell has the travel bug – during his PhD he's made good use of the international connections that ANU has. During his two and a half years of study, he's spent close to a year at labs in Washington DC, Oak Ridge in Tennessee and the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron in Chicago. And he has regular...
Tom Shiell has the travel bug – during his PhD he's made good use of the international connections that ANU has. During his two and a half...
Jacob Ross is taking up the mantle of Richard Feynman in his PhD, trying to develop a quantum simulator, using ultracold gases called Bose-Einstein condensates. "Feynman's idea was to build a controllable quantum environment and use it for analog quantum computations of things that are hard to simulate,...
Jacob Ross is taking up the mantle of Richard Feynman in his PhD, trying to develop a quantum simulator, using ultracold gases called Bose-Einstein...
For her PhD project Wenjie Yang has asked her supervisor for a lot of gold. It's not for bling; she wants to embed it into silicon as part of the quest to make it a better absorber of light, for future solar cells and sensors. "It's unconventional, because gold normally kills the carrier lifetime....
For her PhD project Wenjie Yang has asked her supervisor for a lot of gold. It's not for bling; she wants to embed it into silicon as part of the quest...

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster