Low-Energy Experimental Nuclear Physics Research at Duke/TUNL

The wide range of research backgrounds, technical expertise and substantial numbers of graduate students within the Duke-TUNL research community enable and stimulate a broad collaborative research program that spans several frontier areas in nuclear physics. Duke faculty, post-docs, and graduate studnts at TUNL are working in two of the five broad scientific frontiers described in the NSAC 2007 Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science in the U.S.:

1) Nuclei: from structure to exploding stars; and
2) In search of the new standard model.

The first area is pursued at TUNL through three lines of inquiry: (1) measurements of hadron structure properties, (2) study of nuclear collective motion and few-nucleon reaction dynamics, and (3) nuclear astrophysics. Experiments associated with this research are mostly carried out at the local accelerator facilities. Duke researchers are involved in two major projects that search for physics beyond the Standard Model: (1) the nEDM experiment at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is a test of violation of time-reversal invariance via the measurement of the neutron electric dipole moment, (2) the Majorana Demonstrator, which is an R&D effort to determine feasibility of using enriched 76Ge in a neutrinoless double-beta decay experiment. Progress on these research fronts requires associated efforts in technology R&D, (e.g., particle detectors, signal processing electronics, data acquisition, ultra low radioactivity materials), and in accelerator development for enhancing and creating new beam capabilities at the TUNL accelerator facilities. In addition to the research program in fundamental nuclear physics, Duke scientists are contributing to applications of nuclear-physics techniques in the areas of national nuclear security, homeland security, nuclear energy, the environment, and plant research.


Left: Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory (TUNL), Right: Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL).