Graduate Programs - USA
The nuclear chemistry group at Stony Brook has been actively pursuing research in nuclear reaction studies since 1963. Professor John M. Alexander, several students, post doctoral fellows, and visiting scientists are engaged in a variety of experimental and theoretical projects. It is these research activities that constitute the most important aspect of graduate study at Stony Brook in either the M.S. or Ph.D. degree programs. The village of Stony Brook is located on Long Island about 1.5 hours from the city and about 0.5 hours from the Brookhaven National Laboratory. The small town atmosphere benefits from a stimulating intellectual climate comprised of the departments of chemistry, physics, earth and space sciences, etc. at Stony Brook and their counterparts at Brookhaven. The Stony Brook LINAC accelerates ions as heavy as 64Ni, and the Brookhaven AGS is producing relativistic heavy ions.

Each student participates in both the experimental and theoretical aspects of research. Recent experiments, focused on reactions between complex nuclei, have utilized accelerators at Stony Brook, Argonne National Laboratory, Berkeley, and France. Most such experiments involve a collaboration between about a half-dozen scientists, some located at the accelerator laboratory itself and some in the Stony Brook family. Often members of other groups in Europe, Asia, South or North America visit for several months or years at Stony Brook. Stimulation from this continuing game of musical chairs has been very rewarding for each participant. The nuclear structure laboratory and the nuclear theory group (both in physics) at Stony Brook are also very active neighbors and colleagues in the local and international research enterprise. A student goes to classes and seminars with many members of this extended family, and we all try to learn from each other how to understand better the inner workings of the atomic nucleus.

The experimental tools that we use involve electronic detectors, primarily for charged particles emitted in heavy ion collisions. We measure the light charged particles H, He..., the heavy fragments, such as those from fission or fusion reactions, and the coincident detection of two or more of these. A student learns how these detectors work along with the associated electronic equipment for amplifying, shaping and selecting the pulses. Raw data are recorded on magnetic tapes via a data acquisition computer, and subsequent sorting and analysis of the results is done with additional computers. This training in state-of-the-art technologies is useful for its own sake as well as for tools of the trade in nuclear science and many other fields that are now beginning to measure prolific data streams.

Scientific advances must always involve the interplay between experiment and theory. As experimental results give us new insights, our theoretical models must be altered and reformed. Students also participate in these theoretical comparisons and advances. As you see, the whole enterprise of nuclear science is filled with challenge, excitement and hard, but satisfying work.

We would be pleased to hear from you; if you want to join the game, write or call:
John Alexander
Department of Chemistry
State University of New York at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3400
PHONE: (516) 632-7904