Theoretical nuclear physics industrial studentship

On this research project, the candidate will work on developing a theoretical technique for determining new nuclear data cross sections for industrial applications.

Start date

1 October 2024


4 years

Application deadline

Funding source

AWE studentship

Funding information

UKRI standard stipend


Nuclear data are required inputs for a wide range of scientific calculations. A special class of such data are nuclear reactions induced by neutrons. In this case nuclear data can be measured only for stable isotopes. Interactions of neutrons with short-lived isotopes can only be studied indirectly. One indirect method, called "surrogate reactions" (see e.g. Escher et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 84 (2012)) is an active research field since the early 2000s, pushed mainly by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in USA with some contribution from AWE. The current PhD project will involve interactions with AWE and LLNL researchers through the theoretical study of the two-neutron-transfer reaction (p,t) to be used as a surrogate for neutron capture reactions.

The theoretical developments proposed in the PhD project would be in the improved treatment of the (p,t) transfer reaction by introducing better interactions and mechanisms to the reaction model. The (p,t) reaction has not been studied in general as extensively compared to other transfer reactions and therefore the success of this proposed project would benefit research applications beyond the surrogate reaction model, for example, for study of two-neutron correlations and entanglement in short-lived neutron-rich isotopes.

The theoretical model developed by the student will be compared to the surrogate reaction data supplied by the LLNL. There is also the potential for the student to spend time at LLNL as part of the project. The project results will be presented at national and international conferences. The PhD would be funded by AWE and an AWE Industrial Supervisor would be closely involved in the study.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Master’s degree (distinction normally required). You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our PhD programme.

Open to UK nationals only.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Physics PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

Physics PhD

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Application deadline

Contact details

Natalia Timofeyuk
02 BB 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689375

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