Nuclear and Particle Physics

Cosmological evolution – Theory of particles and forces – Stellar astrophysics – Quantum Mechanics - Nuclear fission – Metrology

Our views about the building blocks of Nature – fundamental particles and forces – have evolved dramatically over the past decades. We now have models that attempt to unify the forces and particles, and describe how they came into existence in the very early Universe. To test these models, particle physicists have designed experiments over a wide range of energies.
In the sub-eV range, the cold or ultra-cold neutrons produced at the ILL can tell us a great deal about the 'symmetry' characteristics of particles and their interactions – perhaps helping to explain, for example, how the Universe came to contain mainly matter and not antimatter, even though created in equal amounts. Neutrons at the ILL are also used to investigate the structure and behaviour of nuclei by  generating excited nuclear states. Although atomic nuclei have a finite number of constituents – neutrons and protons – they display extremely diverse modes of excitations associated with both single-particle and collective behaviour, and can be regarded as miniature laboratories for studying complex, strongly interacting systems. The ILL is also able to create exotic nuclei with high numbers of neutrons to explore the pathways by which elements are made in the stars.

Review of ILL research in fundamental and nuclear physics: Neutrons and the Universe (pdf file, 3.38 Mb)



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E=mc2 : Michael Jentschel and Klaus Blaum explain why the most famous equation of physics needs checking — and how to do it. A Nature Physics publication.

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Neutrinos are notoriously hard-to-detect elementary particles. They are produced in the core of stars, at particle accelerators, in very high energy phenomena or – as in STEREO – in nuclear reactor cores. Neutrinos do not carry any electric charge…

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