Consolidated nuclear physics grant 2011

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The majority of the visible mass of the universe is made up of atomic nuclei that lie at the centre of the atom. Nuclear physics seeks to answer fundamental questions such as: 'What are the limits of nuclear existence, at the proton drip-line and for the heaviest masses?'; 'How do simple patterns emerge in complex nuclei?'; 'Can nuclei be described in terms of our understanding of the underlying fundamental interactions?'; 'What is the equation-of-state of nuclear matter, including compact matter in neutron stars?'; 'How does the ordering of quantum states change in extremely unstable nuclei?; 'Are there new forms of structure and symmetry at the limits of nuclear existence?'. The aim of this research proposal is to try to answer these questions. No one yet knows how heavy a nucleus can be; in other words, just how many neutrons and protons can be made to bind together. We will study the heaviest nuclei that can be made in the laboratory and determine their properties which will allow better predictions to be made for the 'superheavies'. For lighter nuclei we will explore in the region of the proton and neutron drip lines, which are the borders between bound and unbound nuclei. We will determine more precisely than ever before the location of these drip lines. Nuclei beyond the proton drip line have so much electrical charge that they are highly unstable and try to achieve greater stability through the process of proton emission. We will investigate how nuclear behaviour is affected when protons become unbound. For these exotic systems we will also explore how the nucleus prefers to rearrange its shape, which can be a sphere, rugby ball, pear, etc. and how it stores its energy among the possible degrees of freedom. We will also investigate how the properties of these nuclei develop as we make them spin faster and faster. We will try to determine the precise nature of ultra high spin states in heavy nuclei, just before the nucleus breaks up due to fission. We will study whether a nucleon looks the same when it is inside the nucleus or when it is in free space. By violently removing the nucleon from the nucleus in a nuclear reaction at high energies and measuring its properties, we can investigate to what extent the nucleon 'feels' the influence of its neighbouring nucleons, whether it is correlated with them. Such information tells us about the nuclear force inside the nucleus at different inter-nucleon distances. Nuclear matter can exist in different phases, analogous to the solid, liquid, gas and plasma phases in ordinary substances. By varying the temperature, density, pressure and isospin asymmetry (the relative number of neutrons and protons in the matter), nuclear matter can undergo a transition from one phase to another. The thermodynamic properties of the matter and its phase transitions can be summarised by the equation of state. By colliding nuclei together at high energies, we will study how nuclear matter behaves as the isospin asymmetry and density vary. Such information is not only important for nuclear physics but also to understand neutron stars and other compact astrophysical objects. This programme of research will employ a large variety of experimental methods to probe many aspects of nuclear structure and the phases of strongly interacting matter, mostly using instrumentation that we have constructed at several world-leading accelerator laboratories. The work will require a series of related experiments at a range of facilities in order for us to gain an insight into the answers to the questions posed above. These experiments will help theorists to refine and test their calculations that have attempted to predict the properties of nuclei and the phases of strongly interacting matter, often with widely differing results. The resolution of this problem will help us to describe complex many-body nuclear systems.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Evidence for nuclear pear-shapes and relevance to understanding matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe
Exploitation Route Used by research groups looking for atomic Electric Dipole Moments, that help to constrain the Standard Model
Sectors Other

URL http://ns.ph.liv.ac.uk/pab/profile/Outreach.htm
 
Description Public understanding of nuclear pear shapes
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Other
Impact Types Societal

 
Description ALICE Collaboration 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department ALICE Collaboration
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Data analysis of LHC data from Run1 and Run2 (heavy-flavour physics working group). ITS upgrade project: Monte Carlo simulations, construction of modules and staves for the Outer Barrel. Supervision of UG and PhD student projects. Meetings of ALICE-UK research groups (Univ. of Birmingham, Univ. of Liverpool, STFC Daresbury). Presentations at conferences, meetings and workshops.
Collaborator Contribution Access to beam time, data, GRID and other CERN infrastructure and resources, ALICE collaboration international network etc.
Impact Publications. Training of UG and PhD students and research staff. Invitations to speak at meetings, workshops, conferences.
Start Year 2012
 
Description GREAT collaboration 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Department Department of Physics
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Constructed GREAT spectrometer and TDR DAQ system. Spokesperson of many experiments.
Collaborator Contribution facility
Impact 24 publications
 
Description MINIBALL collaboration 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department ISOLDE Radioactive Ion Beam Facility
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Expertise on Coulomb Excitation analysis, spokespersons of 2 active ISOLDE experiments
Impact several publications
 
Description MINIBALL collaboration 
Organisation Lund University
Department Department of Physics
Country Sweden 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise on Coulomb Excitation analysis, spokespersons of 2 active ISOLDE experiments
Impact several publications
 
Description MINIBALL collaboration 
Organisation University of Cologne
Department Department of Physics
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise on Coulomb Excitation analysis, spokespersons of 2 active ISOLDE experiments
Impact several publications
 
Description MINIBALL collaboration 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Department of Physics and Astronomy
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Expertise on Coulomb Excitation analysis, spokespersons of 2 active ISOLDE experiments
Impact several publications
 
Description R3B Collaboration (NUSTAR) 
Organisation Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research
Department Nuclear Structure, Astrophysics and Reactions
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborative research/experiments. Leadership in design and construction of detection systems (e.g. Si Tracker and associated EDAQ). Data analysis and monte carlo simulations (supervision of PhD students), scientific input (experimental proposals, authorship of publications...). Manpower (technical and research staff, PhD students) for construction of equipment and running experiments.. Presentations at collaboration meetings, workshops, conferences.
Collaborator Contribution Access to research large-scale facility and beam time, technical support, PhD students and research staff, etc. T. Aumann spokesperson of R3B collaboration.
Impact Publications. PhD theses (S. Paschalis, J. Taylor). Training of PhD students and research staff. Invitations to speak at meetings, workshops, conferences. Project leadership of Si tracker (NUSTAR-UK project grant).
 
Description R3B Collaboration (NUSTAR) 
Organisation Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Collaborative research/experiments. Leadership in design and construction of detection systems (e.g. Si Tracker and associated EDAQ). Data analysis and monte carlo simulations (supervision of PhD students), scientific input (experimental proposals, authorship of publications...). Manpower (technical and research staff, PhD students) for construction of equipment and running experiments.. Presentations at collaboration meetings, workshops, conferences.
Collaborator Contribution Access to research large-scale facility and beam time, technical support, PhD students and research staff, etc. T. Aumann spokesperson of R3B collaboration.
Impact Publications. PhD theses (S. Paschalis, J. Taylor). Training of PhD students and research staff. Invitations to speak at meetings, workshops, conferences. Project leadership of Si tracker (NUSTAR-UK project grant).
 
Description R3B Collaboration (NUSTAR) 
Organisation Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Department GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Collaborative research/experiments. Leadership in design and construction of detection systems (e.g. Si Tracker and associated EDAQ). Data analysis and monte carlo simulations (supervision of PhD students), scientific input (experimental proposals, authorship of publications...). Manpower (technical and research staff, PhD students) for construction of equipment and running experiments.. Presentations at collaboration meetings, workshops, conferences.
Collaborator Contribution Access to research large-scale facility and beam time, technical support, PhD students and research staff, etc. T. Aumann spokesperson of R3B collaboration.
Impact Publications. PhD theses (S. Paschalis, J. Taylor). Training of PhD students and research staff. Invitations to speak at meetings, workshops, conferences. Project leadership of Si tracker (NUSTAR-UK project grant).
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation GSI
Department KP
Country Ireland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung
Department Nuclear Physics (Superheavy Elements)
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Department Helmholtz Institute Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres
Department Helmholtz Institute Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Department Institute for Nuclear Chemistry
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description TASCA Collaboration 
Organisation Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Parts of the detection system, Manpower, Data Analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, Intellectual Input
Collaborator Contribution Technical Support for Experiment
Impact Confirmation of Element 114 and New isotope 277Hs (Duellmann et al, PRL 104 2010 252701) Spectroscopy of 253No (Anderson et al, NIMA622 2010 164)
Start Year 2006
 
Description BBC Atom 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Scientific Advisor to the BBC "Atom" Series presented by Jim Al-Khalili

Greater public awareness of Superheavy Element Research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2013
 
Description IOP School Grants Scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Funding awarded to Frodsham CE Primary school to visit Jodrell Bank Observatory.
I was the scientific partner for this grant who initiated the idea, helped formulate the funding request and took part in the visit with year 4 children.

Difficult to quantify.
Hopefully help broaden the provision of the science curriculum in this primary school and develop taste for physics/astrophysics in young children.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Media Publicity 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact See http://ns.ph.liv.ac.uk/pab/profile/Outreach.htm

see http://ns.ph.liv.ac.uk/pab/ExpProgWebPage/Pear-nuclei-press.htm
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Nuclear Physics Master Class 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact About 10-20 six-formers attended practical activities and presentations over a number of days, including discussions in the Q&A part of the presentations.

None, it is hoped that the activities raise the awareness of the impact of Nuclear Physics on daily life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Nuclear Physics Masterclasses 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact About 20 six-formers attend practical activities in the new Canberra Laboratory at the Univ. of Liverpool award-winning CTL facilities and presentations over a number of days, including discussions in the Q&A part of the presentations.
I was the academic lead scientist for these masterclasses since 2012.

Difficult to quantify.
Hopefully help attract students to study Physics at University and develop awareness of Nuclear Physics impact on everyday life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014
 
Description Women in Physics Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Invited Talk at Women in Physics (WiP) workshops, organised by the Physics Outreach Group of the University of Liverpool for girls in year 12 of high school, taking AS and/or A2 courses in Physics.

Difficult to quantify.
Hopefully help attract students to study Physics at University and develop awareness of Nuclear Physics impact on everyday life.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014