Available student project - Towards a global understanding of nuclear fission

Research fields

  • Physics of the Nucleus
Fission fragments are measured at the ANU using the CUBE detector array

Project details

Improved understandings of nuclear fission is key for many areas of science, including heavy element formation in supernova and neutron-star mergers, making safer nuclear reactors, and the formation and properties of long-lived superheavy isotopes.

One important open question in nuclear fission is: how do fissioning nuclei decide what the mass of the fission fragments should be? The long term aim of the field is to produce a globally predictive model of nuclear fission. Recent experimental discoveries by our group of multiple fission modes in sub-lead nuclei have challenged these models and more experimental data are required.

Fission induced by nuclear collisions (fusion-fission) is an essential tool for studies of fission dynamics. It allows the production of a very wide range of fissioning nuclei at a variety of excitation energies through judicious choice of the energy of the accelerated beam and projectile-target combinations. Using our world-leading CUBE detector system, fusion-fission is allowing us to open up areas of the nuclear chart that aren’t available via other methods.

At ANU, the CUBE detector array’s unprecedented angular coverage allows us to measure high-resolution mass-angle distributions of fission fragments. Using these high-statistics measurements, we gain unprecedented insights into fission and its competing processes. Students involved in this project will use CUBE data to further our understanding of nuclear fission across the chart of nuclides.

Required background

No specific background knowledge is required.

As an PhB, Vacation scholar or 3rd year project, this project will suit students interested in data analysis, numerical, and statistical techniques.

As a MSc or PhD project, this project will range from hands-on experimental projects to intensive data analysis and calculations.

Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in all accelerator-based experimental activities of the nuclear reaction dynamics group.

Project suitability

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

Contact supervisor

Cook, Kaitlin profile

Other supervisor(s)

Hinde, David profile

Dasgupta, Mahananda profile

Updated:  17 August 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster