The Nuclear Physics Research Group

Faculty: AhnAprahamian - BardayanBrodeur - Caprio - Collon - Couder - GargPeaslee - Simon - SurmanWiescher
Research Faculty: deBoer Goerres - Manukyan - O'MalleyRobertsonStech - Tan
Concurrent Faculty: LaVerne
Visiting, Guest & Adjunct Faculty:
Emeritus Faculty: Berg - Berners - Frauendorf -  KaiserKolata
Postdocs, Visiting Scholars and Other Visitors: Dombos - Scholz - Randhawa - Vassh - Wang

Click here to go to the Institute for Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics (ISNAP) web page.

Click here to go to the Nuclear Theory Research web page.

Click here to go to the Advancing Research: Nuclear Physics video (Fall 2017)

Click here to watch the Nuclear Physics at Notre Dame video (Fall 2012)

Nuclear physics provides a major tool for answering questions from the microscopic behavior of many-body quantum systems to the macroscopic behavior of stars.

Research in nuclear structure is focused on studies of dynamics, deformations, and bulk nuclear properties. Dynamics of nuclei include studies of behavior as wide ranging as vibrational motion associated with tidal waves on the surface of the nucleus to giant resonances and rotational motion including chiral rotations as well as superdeformations. Understanding nuclear dynamics has many implications from the most fundamental issues related to nuclear forces to probing incompressibility of nuclear matter and therefore the properties of neutron stars. Theoretical approaches of many body quantum systems can also be applied more generally to mesoscopic systems or clusters of atoms, and quantum dots.





A pioneering focus in the Nuclear Science Laboratory has been the development and application of short-lived radioactive beams, and the associated study of the structure and reactions of nuclei at the very limits of particle stability. This includes investigations of the recently discovered "neutron halo" nuclei, exotic systems in which a cloud of nearly pure neutron matter at very low density surrounds a normal nuclear core. These nuclei can be a key for the onset of explosive nucleosynthesis mechanisms such as the r-process.

Measurements of nuclear reaction rates and decay processes at stellar temperatures and densities comprise a strong part of the experimental effort in nuclear astrophysics. The goal is to understand the origin and distribution of the elements in the universe. Research is directed towards simulating stellar nucleosynthesis in the laboratory, understanding late stellar evolution and explosive nucleosynthesis in novae and supernovae, and explaining the origin of the very high luminosity observed in stellar x-ray bursts.

Developing Accelerator Mass Spectrometry techniques for a range of applications from oceanography to astrophysics is a new research focus of our laboratory. Accelerator Mass Spectrometry has traditionally been used to detect environment tracers at or below their natural abundance level with extremely high sensitivity. We seek to advance and exploit this technique at the local facilities for identifying new radioactive noble gas probes of oceanography and for the study of low cross-section nuclear reactions which are important in stellar evolution.

Experimental Nuclear Physics research concentrates on the use of three (JN-V, KN, and an FN-Tandem) local accelerators and radioactive beam facilities at ISNAP - the Institute for Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics at Notre Dame. Complementary research activities are based on a wide range of National and International Laboratories.