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The 229Th challenge: a combined case for nuclear and solid state physics

The Senior Fellowship forms part of an interdisciplinary research effort that combines basic nuclear physics with solid state physics, with a strong potential for future applications in metrology. The radioactive isotope 229Th embedded in single crystals of calcium fluoride (CaF2) is a system which is currently under scrutiny for realizing so-called nuclear clocks which would have the potential to outperform best available atomic clocks by several orders of magnitude. However, to understand the interaction of the 229Th nucleus with the crystal, precise knowledge on its lattice location is required, which can only be obtained by means of the emission channeling (EC) technique. The aim is that the fellow applicant, a recognized expert in the development and application of the EC technique and in particular in its numerical simulation (which is indispensable for data analysis of EC experiments), will transfer his unique knowledge in that field to several PhD students at IKS and guide a number of lattice location experiments, to be undertaken by the groups of the KU Leuven promotors at the CERN/ISOLDE facility. Besides the mentioned case of 229Th in CaF2, a number of other research projects will benefit from the increased autonomy of the KU Leuven groups in applying the EC technique as well.
Date:1 Jul 2018  →  Today
Keywords:solid state physics
Disciplines:Classical physics, Elementary particle and high energy physics, Other physical sciences, Applied mathematics in specific fields, Quantum physics, Nuclear physics, Instructional sciences, Condensed matter physics and nanophysics