The Nuclear Physics laboratory offers level 3 students the opportunity of working with instrumentation commonly found in the nuclear industry and also in environmental monitoring of radioisotopes in the environment. Many of the projects involve an investigation into the spectroscopy of radiation emitted by radioisotopes and students may study sealed radioactive sources, kept within the laboratory, or perhaps radioisotopes generated through neutron capture by stable nuclei.
In some projects the students are encouraged to develop apparatus for imaging radioactive emission or energy loss. The projects have some specific goals but also allow for further investigation and it is often the case that students push their experiments in new and interesting directions. For example, two students decided to use x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to investigate the composition of meteorites (both real and fake).
Current projects for the Nuclear Physics Laboratory can be found on DUO. A list of typical projects are given below. Note that we regularly update our projects, so those available in a particular term may not exactly correspond to this list.
Safety is a particular concern in this section due to the use of radioactive sources. Be sure to follow these guidelines and requirements to the letter. Note that some of the regulations are statutory in UK law. Failure to follow these rules may have serious consequences.
Please use this generic safety information in conjunction with additional information given here.
Procedures to be adopted when using radioactive sources:
University Radiation Safety [intranet access required]
Laboratory Radiation Safety
Dose rate exercise