Experimental nuclear physics

Experimental nuclear physics is the practical investigation of the processes that occur at the heart of an atom. This includes building a better fundamental understanding of fusion and fission, and harnessing them for sustained energy generation. Other areas of study are the creation of superheavy elements, and the application of radioactive substances in medicine.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Spectral study on 36,37,38Ca isotopes and calculations based on density functional theory reveal the interplay between charge radii and nucleonic pairing correlations.

    • A. J. Miller
    • , K. Minamisono
    • , A. Klose
    • , D. Garand
    • , C. Kujawa
    • , J. D. Lantis
    • , Y. Liu
    • , B. Maaß
    • , P. F. Mantica
    • , W. Nazarewicz
    • , W. Nörtershäuser
    • , S. V. Pineda
    • , P.-G. Reinhard
    • , D. M. Rossi
    • , F. Sommer
    • , C. Sumithrarachchi
    • , A. Teigelhöfer
    •  & J. Watkins
  • Research |

    The magnetic moment of the neutron-rich exotic 75Cu nucleus is measured using rare isotope beams with a high spin alignment, clarifying how the evolution of the nuclear shell and the shape deformations are connected.

    • Y. Ichikawa
    • , H. Nishibata
    • , Y. Tsunoda
    • , A. Takamine
    • , K. Imamura
    • , T. Fujita
    • , T. Sato
    • , S. Momiyama
    • , Y. Shimizu
    • , D. S. Ahn
    • , K. Asahi
    • , H. Baba
    • , D. L. Balabanski
    • , F. Boulay
    • , J. M. Daugas
    • , T. Egami
    • , N. Fukuda
    • , C. Funayama
    • , T. Furukawa
    • , G. Georgiev
    • , A. Gladkov
    • , N. Inabe
    • , Y. Ishibashi
    • , T. Kawaguchi
    • , T. Kawamura
    • , Y. Kobayashi
    • , S. Kojima
    • , A. Kusoglu
    • , I. Mukul
    • , M. Niikura
    • , T. Nishizaka
    • , A. Odahara
    • , Y. Ohtomo
    • , T. Otsuka
    • , D. Ralet
    • , G. S. Simpson
    • , T. Sumikama
    • , H. Suzuki
    • , H. Takeda
    • , L. C. Tao
    • , Y. Togano
    • , D. Tominaga
    • , H. Ueno
    • , H. Yamazaki
    •  & X. F. Yang
  • Research |

    The thermal neutron capture cross-section of 88Zr is measured to be 861,000 ± 69,000 barns, the second-largest neutron capture cross-section ever measured.

    • Jennifer A. Shusterman
    • , Nicholas D. Scielzo
    • , Keenan J. Thomas
    • , Eric B. Norman
    • , Suzanne E. Lapi
    • , C. Shaun Loveless
    • , Nickie J. Peters
    • , J. David Robertson
    • , Dawn A. Shaughnessy
    •  & Anton P. Tonchev
    Nature 565, 328-330
  • Research | | open

    Weaker ferritic/matensitic steels rather than stronger austenitic steels are usually candidates for nuclear reactors since they do not easily swell under irradiation. Here, the authors make an ultrastrong lanthanum-doped nanocrystalline austenitic steel that is thermally stable and radiation-tolerant.

    • Congcong Du
    • , Shenbao Jin
    • , Yuan Fang
    • , Jin Li
    • , Shenyang Hu
    • , Tingting Yang
    • , Ying Zhang
    • , Jianyu Huang
    • , Gang Sha
    • , Yugang Wang
    • , Zhongxia Shang
    • , Xinghang Zhang
    • , Baoru Sun
    • , Shengwei Xin
    •  & Tongde Shen

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Mercury isotopes are unique in exhibiting dramatic differences in their nuclear shapes. The analysis of over more than twenty Hg isotopes now shows that this follows from the influence of single-particle effects on the collective properties of a nucleus.

    • Paul Cottle
    •  & Kirby Kemper
    Nature Physics 14, 1158-1159
  • News and Views |

    Ab initio calculations of an atomic nucleus with 48 nucleons set a benchmark for computational nuclear physics and provide new insights into the properties of the atomic nucleus and strongly interacting matter.

    • Daniel P. Watts
    Nature Physics 12, 116-117
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Sustaining and measuring high temperatures in fusion plasmas is a challenging task that requires different heating systems and diagnostic tools. Information on the spatial distribution of temperature is one of the key elements for improving and controlling plasma performance.

    • Didier Mazon
    • , Christel Fenzi
    •  & Roland Sabot
    Nature Physics 12, 14-17