Nuclear Structure Physics
The Nuclear Physics group has multiple research endeavours in fundamental physics, including the study of metastable states, superheavy nuclei and nuclear shapes. In addition, various societal applications like the exploration of energy sources and the study of elemental and isotopic composition of materials are also being pursued.
The primary focus of the Nuclear Physics group is on the understanding of the structure of many-body, strongly-interacting atomic nuclei. This encompasses, but is not limited to, elements with the highest atomic numbers in the periodic chart, the study of metastable states (nuclear isomers) in the vicinity of the heaviest doubly-magic nucleus, 208Pb, and higher-order deformations in the radium-thorium region. The excited level structure of nuclei is inferred from multi-fold gamma-ray coincidence measurements using large arrays of high-purity germanium detectors. Different excitation mechanisms, ranging from purely intrinsic to highly collective, are studied to obtain an understanding of the strong nuclear interaction.
The development of measurement techniques for basic and applied research using a variety of nuclear radiation detectors, and in particular digital signal processing, is also being done. This is coupled with new approaches for multi-parameter data reduction and analysis of nuclear spectroscopic data.
Societal applications of nuclear measurement techniques are also being implemented. Two noteworthy areas are the exploration of nuclear energy sources across India through gamma-ray spectroscopy, and the identification of hazardous materials in consumer products through x-ray fluorescence studies.
Experiments are performed in-house and at premier particle-accelerator based facilities across India, the US and Europe. State-of-the-art radiation detection systems are used for the data acquisition and the offline data reduction and analysis is performed inhouse with programs specifically designed for this purpose.