The nucleus is a unique mesoscopic quantal system of strongly interacting fermions in which the underlying force is poorly understood. It is one of nature's most important testing grounds for model descriptions that reduce a very complex problem to a more tractable one.
The aim of the research carried out by the nuclear physics group is to study the structure of exotic nuclei whose proton and neutron numbers are very different to those found in stable nuclei, and to study nuclei with extremely high angular momentum. The group also carries out research in spectroscopic gamma-ray imaging. Advances in the sensitivity, speed, position and energy resolution of photon detectors have the potential to greatly improve various aspects of imaging in medicine and other fields (e.g. security). Liverpool physicists have teamed up with experts from the Daresbury Laboratory and the University's MARIARC centre to ensure that the sensors used and developed by the group find application in medicine. The group is particularly interested in improving the quality of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) images which are used for both brain and cardiac investigations.