Exotic nuclei and nuclear astrophysics

Our research seeks to address the structure and reaction properties of key radioactive nuclei, which govern the pathways of nucleosynthesis in explosive astrophysical environments and determine the evolution of nuclear shapes and shells far from stability.


To perform these studies, we make use of a variety of innovative experimental techniques at both world-leading stable and radioactive ion beam facilities. Our experimental expertise involves the use of charged-particle and gamma-ray spectroscopy as well as the use of magnetic spectrometers and separators.

Research areas

  • Nuclear reactions affecting the emission of cosmic gamma rays
  • Direct measurements of radiative capture reactions
  • Exotic nuclei for understanding nuclei synthesis in explosive binary systems
  • Single particle transfer reactions around the Islands of Inversion
  • Exploring exotic nuclear shapes and shape coexistence.

Get in contact

If you want to find out more about the research we are doing or just have a general query, then please get in touch with Dr Daniel Doherty:

Research excellence

REF 2014 logo

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) 84 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Physics category.

Study with us

We host many types of research fellow or you can apply to do a PhD with us. We also offer project work as part of our undergraduate and masters courses.

Staff members

Wilton Catford profile image

Professor Wilton Catford

Professor, Research Group Leader of Experimental Nuclear Physics

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Dr Gavin Lotay

Reader, Director of Learning and Teaching for Physics

Contact us

Find us


Experimental Nuclear Physics Group
Department of Physics
University of Surrey