Shape and shell evolution in heavy nuclei

Our work focuses on the structure of neutron-rich nuclei, studying a range of phenomena including shape evolution, K-isomerism, and shell structure around the N=126 closed shell, with the eventual goal of pushing towards the path of the astrophysical r-process.


This work takes place at a variety of fragmentation and ISOL radioactive beam facilities and utilises a variety of experimental techniques including gamma-ray spectroscopy and lifetime measurements. For lifetime measurements we frequently make use of the Surrey led FATIMA array of lanthanum tri-bromide (LaBr3) detectors.

Research areas

  • Nuclear structure around the doubly closed shell nucleus 208Pb
  • The limits and theory of K-isomerism
  • Shape evolution in the vicinity of the doubly mid shell nucleus 270Dy
  • Industrial applications of nuclear structure studies.

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 Professor William Gelletly:

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

Placeholder image for staff profiles

Professor William Gelletly

Emeritus Professor of Physics

Patrick Regan profile image

Professor Patrick Regan

Professor of Radionuclide Metrology

Philip Walker profile image

Professor Philip Walker

Emeritus Professor of Physics

Contact us

Find us


Experimental Nuclear Physics Group
Department of Physics
University of Surrey