Nuclear Physics Consolidated Grant

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

The atomic nucleus, which forms the tiny massive core at the centre of the atom, is composed of protons and neutrons and each of these particles are themselves comprised of quarks. However, this knowledge does not allow us to make a complete prediction of the behaviour of any given nucleus or isotope. The system is too complex, involving three of the four fundamental forces: the electromagnetic, weak and strong nuclear forces. The behaviour of the nucleus is often described as an emergent phenomenon as it cannot be readily predicted from its component parts. This drives theoretical effort and the need to benchmark theory with precision measurements.

Our research is aimed at studying the funadamental properties of atomic nuclei, the origin of elements in the cosmos and applications of nuclear technology. We study nuclei on the very limits of stability, in particular those with an excess of protons, and those which have the same number of protons and neutrons (N=Z nuclei). The N=Z nuclei exhibit special symmetries and deviations from these symmetries tell us very detailed information on the validity of competing nuclear models. Such measurements are very challenging as these nuclei are very difficult to produce in any quantity to perform experiments on. Our programme uses some of the principal facilities for nuclear physics worldwide where such exotic nuclei can be produced. Our work involves studies of how protons and neutrons interact in N=Z nuclei and to what extent the clustering of nucleons (eg into alpha particles) occurs in such nuclei. In our work we aim to addess specific questions related to nuclei residing in three of these regions, (i) N=Z nuclei around mass 70, (ii) deformed nuclei around mass 150 and (iii) nuclei around the neutron deficient lead region, where one of the best examples of nuclear shape co-existence has been observed to date at very low excitation energy. A further aspect of our research into the structure of nuclei concerns their shape. It is a remarkable property of the nucleus that it can adopt different shapes: spherical, oblate (smartie-shaped) and prolate (rugby-ball shaped) often for a small costs in energy. Predicting the shape of a nucleus and how this shape evolves as the nucleus is excited (given more energy) is extremely challenging from a theoretical perspective. Determining nuclear shape experimentally can help to discriminate between competing models of the nucleus and pin down our theoretical understanding. Nuclear structure effects relating to nuclear shapes and the phenomenon of shape co-existence are found in many regions of the chart of the nuclides.

A third strand of our research is into the origin of the chemical elements in stars, and the role played by nuclear physics in this question. Some elements and isotopes are only produced in very hot and exotic events such as exploding stars: novae and supernovae. In these events, a rapid series of nuclear reactions takes place. We seek to understand how rapidly such reactions take place by reproducing them in the laboratory. This is very challenging as many of the nuclei involved in these studies are themselves radioactive and difficult to produce. Nevertheless, we are able to advance our understanding of how the chemical elements are created. The final area of research is into the mechanisms of nuclear fission, with emphasis on exploring how these develop in nuclei that reside away from the well known transactinide region of nuclei which can undergo induced fisson or in the case of the heaviest nuclei even spontaneous fission following their creation. Our data on these new regions of fission, such as in the light mercury isotopes around mass 180, are presenting challenges to the present models of the nuclear fission process. Our proposed work in this area will provide new data on extremely exotic nuclei to help develop the models of the fission process further.

Planned Impact

- Our group is very active in public engagement with a particular focus on continuous professional development for schoolteachers but also the wider public:
- We provide CPD for schoolteachers as part of collaborations with the Science Learning Centre network and the Prince's Teaching Trust. We have interacted with several hundred schoolteachers over the last three years.
- We reach out to the wider public through major public lectures, as well as to local groups such as local astronomy societies
- We foster participation by our PDRAs and postgraduate students in our outreach work

- Our group is active in more applied areas of research which benefit from a cross-fertilisation of ideas with our blue skies research. This includes:
- Work on obtaining neutron-induced cross-sections on actinide nuclei at the nToF facility as part of an EPSRC-funded fission consortium
- We are working on areas connected to medical imaging such as PET/MRI through links with collaborators such as the York Neuroimaging Centre
- we are working with CCFE Culham to make neutron cross-section measurements on materials relevant to future fusion reactors
- we have started to work with companies such as Kromek and NUVIA UK on detector development projects for use in various applications
- We are always on the lookout for ways in which our research can lead to societal benefit such as through knowledge exchange related to our state-of-the-art detector developments

- High quality training is given to PDRAs and postgraduate students, who take this with them to subsequent careers in the nuclear-related industries and the wider economy. Radiation detection and measurement and the abilities to handle large volumes of complex data and perform high quality simulations are important to many key industries and these skillsets will be in increasing demand with the present plans for a new nuclear build.

Publications

10 25 50
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Adsley P (2017) CAKE: the coincidence array for K600 experiments in Journal of Instrumentation

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Alexander T (2015) Isomeric Ratios in $^{206}$Hg in Acta Physica Polonica B

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Andel B (2017) Detailed a -decay study of Tl 180 in Physical Review C

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Andel B (2016) Short-lived isomers in Po 192 and Po 194 in Physical Review C

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Andreyev A (2014) a decay of Au 176 in Physical Review C

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Andreyev AN (2018) Nuclear fission: a review of experimental advances and phenomenology. in Reports on progress in physics. Physical Society (Great Britain)

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Baczyk P (2015) Strong-interaction Isospin-symmetry Breaking Within the Density Functional Theory in Acta Physica Polonica B Proceedings Supplement

 
Description This grant contained three key research themes, which includes studies of nuclear structure related to nuclei with roughly equal numbers of protons and neutrons, nuclear astrophysics with particular emphasis on nuclear reactions that are important to a variety of different astrophysical processes and fundamental nuclear fission studies. In nuclear astrophysics a key feature of our research is our close collaboration with leading international astrophysics groups, to ensure that our work is focused on measurements with the highest impact for the international community. (This is particularly facilitated through the group's leading role in the NuGrid collaboration (www.nugridstars.org, for large­scale nucleosynthesis studies) and the BRIDGCE UK network (www.bridgce.net, a multidisciplinary network for Galactic Chemical Evolution). Through this, we maintain active links with astrophysicists across Europe, North America and Australia.) We have made significant progress in our understanding of galactic sodium production and the astrophysical gamma-emitter, 26-Aluminium, as well as and in mechanisms for astrophysical destruction of 18-Fluorine. We have furthermore pioneered alpha-capture studies of p-process nuclei through alpha capture on 76-Selenium, the first such study in this mass region. Key results in nuclear structure around the N=Z and proton-drip lines have been obtained. These include a detailed study of the decay of the known beta-decaying isomeric state in the N=Z=48 nucleus 96-Cadmium, where our results reveal the importance of core excited configurations (i.e., protons and neutrons exited across the N=Z=50 shell gap) in the structure of the isomeric state. This result reveals that the isomeric state is not composed entirely of spin-aligned (i.e., deuteron-like) proton and neutron pairs, a structural feature which is believed to be important in low-spin states in even-even N=Z nuclei in the mass 90 region. Another key finding relates to the study of nuclei with opposite numbers of protons and neutrons (ie mirror nuclei). The isospin symmetry of the nuclear force results in near-identical behaviour between nuclei with opposite numbers of neutron and protons. Our work in such nuclei has demonstrated the need to include, in addition to the normal Coulomb term which is well known to break isospin symmetry, an isospin non-conserving (INC) term in the shell-model nuclear interaction for which the matrix elements have a strong dependence with the coupled angular momentum. The physical origin of this INC term is still not understood. Our work in the N~Z mass 66-74 fp shell region (i.e., beyond the f7/2 shell mass 42-54 nuclei) has established that an INC isotensor interaction of similar strength to that required in the lighter mass 40-54 region is needed to account for discrepancies between shell model calculations and experimental data, but it appears that the magnitude of the isoscalar INC interaction required in the heavier region is significantly larger and of opposite sign to that needed in the lighter mass region - a feature that is not understood at all. The ultimate goal is to understand the fundamental origin of the isospin non-conserving interaction. Beyond the proton-dripline our studies have revealed the existence of a "nuclear sand-bank" where the nucleus 72-Rubidium is found to exist for a very small, but measurable time whilst 73-Rubidium does not. The new results imply that 72-Krypton is a strong waiting point nucleus in x-ray burst rp-process scenarios. For our fundamental nuclear fission studies we concentrated on extensive studies of exotic process of beta-delayed fission. This process (together with spontaneous and neutrron-induced fission) is believed to be crucially important for the so-called fission termination of r-process of nucleosynthesis and for the production of the heaviest elements in the Universe. Beta-delayed fission allows to access fission of nuclei which do not fission spontaneously, furthermore it also provides fission data at low excitation energies, which are difficult to get by other means. In particular, a new region of asymmetric fission was discovered in our experiments at ISOLDE, centered around very neutron-deficient isotopes 178,180Hg. Several experimental papers have been published, which caused extensive interest from fission theory community and strong collaboration links arose. We were invited to write a comprehensive review on "Progress in Experimental Fission Studies", which was completed in the last year and published in high-ranking journal Reports on Progress in Physics. In shape coexistence studies, we successfully performed measurements of charge radii and electromagnetic moments for several long chains of isotopes - gold, mercury, thallium and astatine. They showed a number of unique features present only in this region of neutron-deficient nuclides in the vicinity of the closed shell at Z=82. Also here, extensive collaboration with the theory colleagues was established, including also the York's theory group.
Exploitation Route Several papers have been published as a result of this grant. These can be used by both the academic (and non-academic communities where appropriate) to further research in nuclear structure and nuclear astrophysics. Some of the results from the nuclear astrophysics and structure work will impact on astrophysics modelling for various types of explosive stellar processes. The knowledge gained will also impact on education via training of teachers and the many outreach activities carried out by members of the group. Detector developments made for the nuclear structure research part of the programme covered by this grant have impacted on developments from our nuclear technology laboratory, which operates in conjunction with companies such as KROMEK that use radiation detectors for various applications.
Sectors Education

 
Description Educating the public on issues related to nuclear structure/ nuclear astrophysics.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Education
Impact Types Societal

 
Description Nuclear Physics Consolidated Grant
Amount £1,686,429 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/P003885/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Nuclear Physics Consolidated Grant
Amount £20,800 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/L005735/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description STFC Consolidated grant
Amount £1,446,999 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/L005727/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2014 
End 09/2018
 
Description AGATA collaboration 
Organisation Daresbury Laboratory
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Work was carried out to simulate the performance of the AGATA demonstrator array for use with relativistic beams at GSI. Codes were developed and are currently stored at Daresbury laboratory under the supervision of Dr M Labiche.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from various countries involved with the AGATA spectrometer have contributed to the development work of the simulation codes. The spectrometer itself is funded by many different European countries, including the UK.
Impact Outcomes have been achieved by other research groups in the UK associated with the AGATA grants, notably Dr A Boston from the University of Liverpool and the nuclear physics team at the Daresbury laboratory. The work involved in developing the detectors used for AGATA and the processing of the signals has had impact on development of radiation detection methods in medical physics.
 
Description AGATA collaboration 
Organisation University of Brighton
Department Arts and Humanities
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work was carried out to simulate the performance of the AGATA demonstrator array for use with relativistic beams at GSI. Codes were developed and are currently stored at Daresbury laboratory under the supervision of Dr M Labiche.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from various countries involved with the AGATA spectrometer have contributed to the development work of the simulation codes. The spectrometer itself is funded by many different European countries, including the UK.
Impact Outcomes have been achieved by other research groups in the UK associated with the AGATA grants, notably Dr A Boston from the University of Liverpool and the nuclear physics team at the Daresbury laboratory. The work involved in developing the detectors used for AGATA and the processing of the signals has had impact on development of radiation detection methods in medical physics.
 
Description AGATA collaboration 
Organisation University of Liverpool
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work was carried out to simulate the performance of the AGATA demonstrator array for use with relativistic beams at GSI. Codes were developed and are currently stored at Daresbury laboratory under the supervision of Dr M Labiche.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from various countries involved with the AGATA spectrometer have contributed to the development work of the simulation codes. The spectrometer itself is funded by many different European countries, including the UK.
Impact Outcomes have been achieved by other research groups in the UK associated with the AGATA grants, notably Dr A Boston from the University of Liverpool and the nuclear physics team at the Daresbury laboratory. The work involved in developing the detectors used for AGATA and the processing of the signals has had impact on development of radiation detection methods in medical physics.
 
Description AGATA collaboration 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department Division of Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Work was carried out to simulate the performance of the AGATA demonstrator array for use with relativistic beams at GSI. Codes were developed and are currently stored at Daresbury laboratory under the supervision of Dr M Labiche.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from various countries involved with the AGATA spectrometer have contributed to the development work of the simulation codes. The spectrometer itself is funded by many different European countries, including the UK.
Impact Outcomes have been achieved by other research groups in the UK associated with the AGATA grants, notably Dr A Boston from the University of Liverpool and the nuclear physics team at the Daresbury laboratory. The work involved in developing the detectors used for AGATA and the processing of the signals has had impact on development of radiation detection methods in medical physics.
 
Description AGATA collaboration 
Organisation University of Surrey
Department Section of Chronobiology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Hospitals 
PI Contribution Work was carried out to simulate the performance of the AGATA demonstrator array for use with relativistic beams at GSI. Codes were developed and are currently stored at Daresbury laboratory under the supervision of Dr M Labiche.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from various countries involved with the AGATA spectrometer have contributed to the development work of the simulation codes. The spectrometer itself is funded by many different European countries, including the UK.
Impact Outcomes have been achieved by other research groups in the UK associated with the AGATA grants, notably Dr A Boston from the University of Liverpool and the nuclear physics team at the Daresbury laboratory. The work involved in developing the detectors used for AGATA and the processing of the signals has had impact on development of radiation detection methods in medical physics.
 
Description FiDiPro 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Department Department of Physics
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Collaborator Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Impact 10.1103/PhysRevC.97.024306, 10.1088/1361-6471/aa691e, 10.1088/1361-6471/aa5fd7, 10.1016/j.cpc.2017.03.007
Start Year 2007
 
Description JAEA collaboration 
Organisation Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am the 'Invited Head of the Research Group for Heavy Elements Science', advising the Japanese colleagues on the research. I am also an active participants in the experiments at JAEA, including leading my own experiments there.
Collaborator Contribution The group at JAEA performs a range of experiments on fission, nuclear chemistry, N=Z nuclei. Theory development is a large part of the local group work.
Impact Several joint publications have been published. New detection developments were carried our.
Start Year 2010
 
Description JYFL p-rich collaboration 
Organisation University of Jyvaskyla
Department Department of Physics
Country Finland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This has become a well-developed scientific collaboration between the University of York and the University of Jyvaskyla cyclotron laboratory. This specific collaboration has grown out of the STFC-funded work on proton-rich nuclei. The University of York has contributed, to this collaboration, staff effort (students, post-doctoral effort and technical effort), scientific proposals (requests for beam time based on UoY science), academic expertise in a number of science areas and equipment (e.g. the UoY Tube veto detector, other charged-particle detectors etc).
Collaborator Contribution Colleagues at Jyvaskyla contribute staff effort (technical and post-doctoral effort), electronics and mechanical infrastructure and general laboratory infrastructure. Crucially, the laboratory gives us access to beam time based on scientific merit. The in-kind contribution estimate of £1M in this entry comes from a very rough, and conservative, estimate of beam time costs for the programme to date.
Impact Many scientific papers and several PhD thesis. See publication list.
 
Description Lyon Claud Bernard 
Organisation University of Lyon
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Collaborator Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Impact 10.1088/1361-6471/aa691e, 10.1088/1361-6471/aa5fd7
 
Description MSU Nazarewicz 
Organisation Michigan State University
Department Department of Physics And Astronomy
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long-term collaboration and publications
Collaborator Contribution Long-term collaboration and publications
Impact 10.5506/APhysPolB.46.575
 
Description NEDA array 
Organisation National Institute for Nuclear Physics
Department Legnaro National Laboratories
Country Italy 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Studies related to the development of a new neutron array (NEDA) for use with high intensity stable beam and radioactive beam studies, in particular investigations of new readout devices for both solid and liquid scintillator neutron detectors.
Collaborator Contribution Testing, design and charactersiation of new detectors for the new NEDA array.
Impact Design of a full array has been performed. An interim design for a first phase of development of the new array is in the final stages of completion. Publications on monte carlo studies of the NEDA neutron detectors (in Nucl Instr. and Meth A,673, p 64 and a forthcoming publication on neutron-gamma discrimination tests with different photomultipliers (to be published in Nucl Instr. and Meth A767, p83, Dec 14)
Start Year 2010
 
Description WINDMILL Collaboration at ISOLDE(CERN) 
Organisation Comenius University in Bratislava
Country Slovakia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Since the start of the collaboration (~2000), I am the spokesperson of most of the experiments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a large international collaboration, each partner plays their own role, either the detectors's development, or/and data analysis, participation in the experiments, their interpretation and final publishing of papers and presentation of the data at different conferences.
Impact Many joint publications have been published. Joint development of detectors and their maintenance is carried our by the collaboration partners.
 
Description WINDMILL Collaboration at ISOLDE(CERN) 
Organisation European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Department CERN - ISOLDE
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Since the start of the collaboration (~2000), I am the spokesperson of most of the experiments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a large international collaboration, each partner plays their own role, either the detectors's development, or/and data analysis, participation in the experiments, their interpretation and final publishing of papers and presentation of the data at different conferences.
Impact Many joint publications have been published. Joint development of detectors and their maintenance is carried our by the collaboration partners.
 
Description WINDMILL Collaboration at ISOLDE(CERN) 
Organisation Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Since the start of the collaboration (~2000), I am the spokesperson of most of the experiments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a large international collaboration, each partner plays their own role, either the detectors's development, or/and data analysis, participation in the experiments, their interpretation and final publishing of papers and presentation of the data at different conferences.
Impact Many joint publications have been published. Joint development of detectors and their maintenance is carried our by the collaboration partners.
 
Description WINDMILL Collaboration at ISOLDE(CERN) 
Organisation University of Leuven
Department Institute for Nuclear and Radiation Physics
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Since the start of the collaboration (~2000), I am the spokesperson of most of the experiments.
Collaborator Contribution This is a large international collaboration, each partner plays their own role, either the detectors's development, or/and data analysis, participation in the experiments, their interpretation and final publishing of papers and presentation of the data at different conferences.
Impact Many joint publications have been published. Joint development of detectors and their maintenance is carried our by the collaboration partners.
 
Description Warsaw IFT 
Organisation University of Warsaw
Country Poland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Collaborator Contribution Long-term scientific collaboration and publications
Impact 10.1103/PhysRevC.94.024306, 10.1016/j.cpc.2017.03.007, 10.5506/APhysPolB.48.259, 10.1016/j.physletb.2017.12.068
 
Description Binding Blocks - University visits and widening participation 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact University visits and widening participation (~700 participants):
Physics 50th Anniversary (~100 participants, Jan 2016); York College visit (~30, Mar 2016); Widening Participation event (~20, Mar 2016); University Open Days (~250, June 2016); Schools Physicists of the Year Awards (~200, June 2016); Widening Participation (~50, July 2016); Girls in Physics (12 participants, Aug 2016); Physics Review Anniversary (~100, Oct 2016).
Most of the visits were dominated by students in secondary schools. For each of the schools events, (part of) a Binding Blocks nuclear (Segre) chart was built by the participants, while undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers, and/or academics discuss foundational nuclear physics principles (including constituents of nuclei, decay and energy) in conjunction with cutting edge research across fundamental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, as well as nuclear applications and nuclear medicine. The school students were very engaged in the activity, and reported learning of - and inspiration towards engaging further with - nuclear physics. Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (taking part in) delivering the events reported a greater confidence in communicating this area of physics. Visiting professionals, including those from the industry, showed a strong interest in the concepts, and a number of these participants requested further information for future engagement in the programme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Public Events 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public event 2015 (~5,000 participants): European Researchers' Night - YorNight (5000+, Sep 2015). A Binding Blocks nuclear (Segre) chart was built by the participants, while undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers, and academics discuss foundational nuclear physics principles (including constituents of nuclei, decay and energy) in conjunction with cutting edge research across fundamental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, as well as nuclear applications and nuclear medicine. The members of the public were very engaged in the activity, and both children and adults alike showed a great interest in the underlying physics and applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Public Events 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public events 2016 (~10,000 participants):
Regional Big Bang Fair (2000+, Doncaster, June 2016); Family Fringe Day (1000+, June 2016); Three Minutes to Midnight (~200, June 2016); STFC Science Up Close Open Day (7000+ people, Daresbury Laboratory, July 2016); iThemba LABS Open Day (~150, Cape Town, South Africa, Sep 2016); Nuclear Science Day (~40, University of Guelph, Canada, Oct 2016).
For each of the public events, a Binding Blocks nuclear (Segre) chart was built by the participants, while undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers, and academics discuss foundational nuclear physics principles (including constituents of nuclei, decay and energy) in conjunction with cutting edge research across fundamental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, as well as nuclear applications and nuclear medicine. The members of the public were very engaged in the activity, and both children and adults alike showed a great interest in the underlying physics and applications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Schools Events 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Schools events 2016 (~160 participants):
Star Gazing, St Peter's School, York (~100, Jan 2016); Huntington School (~20, Mar 2016); Queen Ethelburga's School (~20, Mar 2016); Morsø Gymnasium, Denmark (~25, Dec 2016). For each of the schools events, (part of) a Binding Blocks nuclear (Segre) chart was built by the participants, while undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers, and/or academics discuss foundational nuclear physics principles (including constituents of nuclei, decay and energy) in conjunction with cutting edge research across fundamental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, as well as nuclear applications and nuclear medicine. The school students were very engaged in the activity, and reported learning of - and inspiration towards engaging further with - nuclear physics. The sessions were furthermore integrated into the curriculum as an integral part of the students' learning of the material. Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (taking part in) delivering the events reported a greater confidence in communicating this area of physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Student and Academic Promotion and Training 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Student and Academic promotion and training 2016 (~700 students and academics):
Department of Physics student-training day (~40 participants, May 2016). Institute of Physics Nuclear Physics Conference (~120, Liverpool, Apr 2016), Geometric Models of Nuclear Matter (~40, Canterbury, Sep 2016), International Nuclear Physics Conference (~400, Adelaide, Australia, Sep 2016), NUSTAR Week (~100, York, Sep 2016). Student-training day (Hull University, Nov 2016). Participation in conferences has yielded an international engagement in the Binding Blocks programme, with overseas funding currently being sought by collaborators and several public events already run overseas. Student training has developed the local UK team and thereby facilitated the numerous external events delivered subsequently.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Teacher Training 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Teacher Training Events organised jointly with the National STEM Learning Centre 2016 (~130 teachers and technicians): Full science programme for CERN Teachers Day (~50, NSLC, June 2016) and workshop at York Physics Day (~20, NSLC, June 2016). Contributions to three other courses at NSLC (June 2016): New and Aspiring Primary Science Specialists (~25); Wakefield Academy Group Course (~15); and School Technicians Course (~20). For each of the training events, a 7 metre Binding Blocks nuclear (Segre) chart was wither built by the participants or engaged with, while undergraduate students, postgraduate researchers, academics, and/or learning specialists discuss the foundational nuclear physics principles (including constituents of nuclei, decay and energy) in conjunction with cutting edge research across fundamental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics, as well as nuclear applications and nuclear medicine. The school teachers were very engaged in the activity, and developed ideas for integration into the physics curriculum (as well as mathematics and chemistry) at both GCSE and A-level. Undergraduate and Postgraduate students (taking part in) delivering the events reported a greater confidence in communicating this area of physics. Staff members at the NSLC were furthermore impacted by the scale of the display, and organisers (at NSLC) reported a general buzz among staff members as a result of this.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Training Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training event for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from across the UK, for implementation of Binding Blocks Nuclear Masterclasses and other Public Engagement events across the UK. Primary content designed and delivered by the York Nuclear Physics Group, and with additional mini-workshops by participating Nuclear Physics groups from across the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Training at the ANSTT Workshop, iThemba LABS, South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training event for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from across Southern Africa, for triggering the implementation of Binding Blocks Nuclear Masterclasses and other Public Engagement events across Southern Africa, in particular South Africa, Botswana, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Content designed and delivered by the York Nuclear Physics Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Binding Blocks website (developed 2016). This includes event tracking and embedded twitter feed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/bindingblocks/
 
Description Binding Blocks Youtube Channel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Development of video material available on the Binding Blocks YouTube channel. These videos include: Binding Blocks Promotional Video; Binding Blocks Introduction; Tour of the Stable Isotopes; Path to Stability; Fragmentation: Ni58 to Co-52; and Isotopic abundance simulation this NuGrid. Apart from the impact on schools, students, teachers, collaborators, and the public, requests for further participation includes contact from Channel4 producer Wall-to-Wall, resulting in contributions to the Child-Genius 2017 show, to be screened in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvIXlFgJyGh4Jle_4_KE2aA
 
Description British Science Festival (Hull) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact At least 500 members of the public engaged with the Binding Blocks Nuclear Astrophysics stand at the British Science Festival in Hull, 2018. Delivery led by the astrophysics group at U. of Hull, with contributions from the Binding Blocks programme at York.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description CERN Teacher Training at the National STEM Learning Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Development and delivery of full content for a day of training in Nuclear Physics as a post-CERN-visit training programme for secondary and primary school teachers in Physics and broader sciences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description CERN Teachers Day at the National STEM Learning Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Training and inspiring of 40 teachers from across the UK, with direct input into their teaching, and strong links to the York research programme. Full content designed and delivered by the York Nuclear Physics Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Festival of Ideas 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public event presenting nuclear physics research through a Binding Blocks interactive installation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Head Start activity (York) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Nuclear Physics workshops with a focus on widening participation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Inspirations 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Schools event for approximately 1000 secondary school students and their teachers. Engagement with Nuclear Physics and research through the Binding Blocks nuclear chart.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Isaac Physics Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Nuclear physics workshop as part of an extended engagement throughout the year across all areas of physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Jim Matthews Public Lecture, York 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public Lecture with associated Binding Blocks nuclear chart event, ~300 participants. Lecture delivered by Jim Al-Khalili, Surrey. Binding Blocks event delivery by York team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Making Stars: Fusion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Educational material (lesson plans) for integration of nuclear fusion and nuclear astrophysics into the school curriculum. The teaching resource is directed towards secondary school teachers, in particular A-level Physics. The material is published on the STEM CPD Resource network and will be used in conjunction with a video featuring Dr Kim Cave-Aland, a control engineer at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE). Quotes from the material include:
"When you tell people you make stars for a living, their heads turn and their mouths open."
"Fusion takes place in the centre of stars across the universe. The Making stars resource contains curriculum linked activities on nuclear fusion, binding energy, radioactivity and the hot CNO cycle in stars. The CNO cycle is the predominant fusion process in stars larger than the Sun. The main activity involves students in the classroom mapping out a real-time hot CNO fusion cycle on the classroom floor."
Available online 13th March 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.stem.org.uk/rx6zw6
 
Description Nuclear Masterclass 19.06.18 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Year-12 student Nuclear Masterclass at York, with workshops on: Binding Blocks (nuclear masses, decays, and reactions); the Hot-CNO Cycle; Binding Energy and Neutron Stars; Nuclear Medicine; and Nuclear Fusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Nuclear Masterclass 21.06.18 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Year-12 student Nuclear Masterclass at York, with workshops on: Binding Blocks (nuclear masses, decays, and reactions); the Hot-CNO Cycle; Binding Energy and Neutron Stars; Nuclear Medicine; and Nuclear Fusion.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Nuclear Physics Masterclass 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Nuclear Physics MasterClass 2017. This was a one-day outreach programme which gave year-12 students the opportunity to find out more about cutting-edge research in Nuclear Physics and applications of nuclear technologies. The Masterclass was open to all students studying A level Physics (or equivalent). There were two parallel strands of activity. Strand A: Nuclear Astrophysics Workshop 1: The Hot CNO Cycle in Supernovae: Discover the nuclear reactions happening in stars during stellar explosions in an activity demonstrating half-lives and the random nature of radioactive decay. Workshop 2: Neutron Stars and Fundamental Forces: Investigate a computer simulation of the liquid drop model of neutron stars and learn about the influence of the fundamental forces at the nuclear scale. Workshop 3/4: Binding Blocks: Building the Universe one Nucleaus at a Time
Explore the concept and applications of binding energy through building a LEGO nuclear chart. Follow nuclear decay chains and research the uses of different isotopes. Strand B:
Workshop 1: Advanced gamma detection for nuclear experiments and applications: Utilise advanced gamma detectors to analyse energy spectra and identify unknown sources and materials. Workshop 2: Fusion technology: Visit the University's Tokomak Control Room and find out about methods of creating nuclear fusion as a power source.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/nuclear-masterclass/
 
Description SAINTS Post-graduate School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training event for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from South Africa, for implementation of Binding Blocks Nuclear Masterclasses and other Public Engagement events across South Africa. Primary content designed by the York Nuclear Physics Group, delivered by students trained at York during 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Scarborough Science and Engineering Week 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Schools event for at least 500 secondary school students and their teachers. Engagement with Nuclear Physics and research through the Binding Blocks nuclear chart.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Stargazing Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Public event covering a range of astronomy and astrophysics, nuclear astrophysics, and nuclear physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Stargazing Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Public event covering a range of astronomy and astrophysics, nuclear astrophysics, and nuclear physics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Training of post-graduate Students from University of Western Cape 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training event for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from University of Western Cape, for implementation of Binding Blocks Nuclear Masterclasses and other Public Engagement events in South Africa. Content designed and delivered by the York Nuclear Physics Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Training of post-graduate Students from University of Zululand 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training event for undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers from University of Zululand (SA), for implementation of Binding Blocks Nuclear Masterclasses and other Public Engagement events in South Africa. Content designed and delivered by the York Nuclear Physics Group.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/
 
Description Work experience activity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Nuclear Physics workshops with a focus on widening participation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.york.ac.uk/physics/public-and-schools/secondary/binding-blocks/