CMU, MSU faculty collaborate to study nuclear physics

Faculty members from Central Michigan University have joined into an academic partnership with Michigan State University to participate in a nuclear physics research study.

Georgios Perdikakis, Matthew Redshaw and Kathrin Wimmer, all assistant professors in the department of physics at CMU, were named part of the team. Through the partnership, undergraduate and graduate students from MSU and CMU will have opportunities to conduct research at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a world-leading facility in East Lansing.

Wimmer said this collaboration will give students opportunities to be involved with research for projects, theses and employment opportunities.

"There are a lot of opportunities for students to participate in research," Wimmer said. "Students will participate in experiments, work on their senior research projects in the facility, or students can do master theses on the experiments. There may even be a chance to work as a research assistant in the lab."

The $680 million rare isotope user facility located at MSU is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, MSU and the state of Michigan.

This partnership will allow the faculty members to supervise doctoral students at MSU while also working with both undergraduate and graduate students from CMU.

Perdikakis received his doctorate from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece and specializes in experimental nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics. His research includes experiments to understand the nuclear reactions that occur in stars and supernovae.

Redshaw's research projects include the study of high-precision mass measurements with exotic nuclei and ultra-high-precision mass spectrometry with stable and long-lived isotopes. Redshaw received his doctorate from Florida State University.

Wimmer has conducted research projects, which include the study of the structure of exotic nuclei. Her research is performed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory in East Lansing. Wimmer received her doctorate at Technische Universitat München in Munich.

She said she is excited for this opportunity to do research and conduct experiments that have always interested her.

“We want to understand the question of how all matter is created,” she said. “We want to understand the structure of nuclei and their reactions to each other in order to understand where we come from. I'm interested in fundamental research to understand the structure of nuclei. The nuclei I work on will be sent to other locations, as well as being used for experiments located within the facility"