Available student project - Latest challenges in nuclear fission theory

Research fields

  • Physics of the Nucleus
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Physics of the Nucleus
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Physics of the Nucleus
  • Theoretical Physics
  • Physics of the Nucleus
  • Theoretical Physics
r-process

Project details

Nuclear fission occurs when a nucleus splits into two (or three) fragments.
Although the phenomenon is known for a long time, its overall understanding remains
both an experimental and theoretical challenge. Moreover precision on fission properties
are of primary interest for the astrophysics nuclear r-process taking place
in supernovae.

The Time-Dependent Generator Coordinate Method (GCM) is a state-of-the-art method  
for fission calculations. In the first (static) step, mean field calculations
are performed to generate all the shapes of the fissioning nucleus up to
scission. The Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) theory used at this level solves
the many body problem in a fully quantized way and is able to describe
the nucleus as a superfluid system. Static fission properties such as
barrier heights or kinetic energy between fragments are calculated.
In the second (dynamical) step a GCM wave function of the nucleus is built
from the static HFB states. Then the time dependent Schrodinger
equation is solved to get the dynamical properties of the process.
In particular fragment mass and charge distributions will be deduced from step 2.


In this project various aspects of fission can be investigated:
- TDGCM calculations using tensor built-in nuclear interaction
- Dynamical superfluid correlations: impact of restoration of particle
symmetry breaking along the fission path
- Approximations on collective inertia used in step 2 can be tested
- Analytical derivations of the nuclear interaction to improve the superfluidity of the nucleus

Each of these studies corresponds to new fields of investigation
in nuclear fission. Numerical calculations will be performed on the
NCI supercomputer.

Required background

No specific background is required as the project can be adapted to various levels of knowledge.

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project
  • PhB (1st year)
  • PhB (2nd or 3rd year)
  • Honours project
  • Phd or Masters
  • Vacation scholar

Contact supervisor

Bernard, Remi profile

Other supervisor(s)

Simenel, Cedric profile

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Head of Department/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster