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.

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

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

This project builds on our established track record of developing novel methods to measure magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in atomic nuclei, and the theoretical interpretation of those measurements. Students will help establish new methodologies to underpin future international research at the world's leading radioactive beam laboratories.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Emeritus Professor Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Dr Brendan McCormick

Paving the way to study the chronology of the early solar system

Radionuclides can serve as tracers and chronometers for environmental processes. The time scale for these clocks is set by the half-life of the respective radioisotope. Using accelerator mass spectrometry and decay counting this project aims investigate the chronology of the Early Solar System.

Dr Stefan Pavetich, Dr Michaela Froehlich , A/Prof Stephen Tims, Mr Dominik Koll

Measuring and modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this experimental and computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Emeritus Professor Tibor Kibedi, Dr Brendan McCormick

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