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)

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into the physics of the nucleus. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in our school.

Effect of nuclear structure on dark matter-nucleus interactions

We investigate the impact of nuclear structure on the interaction of a dark matter particle with a nucleus. 

Ms Raghda Abdel Khaleq, Dr Cedric Simenel

Nuclei that fall apart: the role of sub-zeptosecond processes in reactions of weakly-bound nuclei

Some nuclei, like stable 6,7Li and 9Be or radioactive 8Li and 6He, are weakly-bound, which gives them a cluster structure which can be broken apart with very little input of energy. These nuclei show a huge variety of behaviors which challenge our understanding of nuclear reactions, requiring experimental measurements. 

Dr Kaitlin Cook, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Professor David Hinde

Nuclear vibrations in near-spherical and deformed nuclei

This project aims to discover if the long-held concept of low-energy nuclear vibrations holds true under scrutiny from Coulomb excitation and nucleon-transfer reactions. 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Professor Gregory Lane, Dr AJ Mitchell, Mr Ben Coombes

Nuclear lifetimes - developing new apparatus and methods

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project covers three measurement methods that together span the nuclear lifetime range from about 100 femtoseconds to many nanoseconds. The project can include equipment development, measurement, and the development of analysis methodology (programming and computation). 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Emeritus Professor Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Ben Coombes

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a student research project that interests you.