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Nuclear Theory

Traditionally the atomic nucleus has been regarded as a collection of bound protons and neutrons.

However, with the discovery of quarks and a more fundamental theory of the strong interaction, namely Quantum Chromodynamics, it has become clear that the old view needs to be replaced.

The change of the properties of protons and neutrons in matter is the topic of a great deal of research effort around the world.

It seems likely that such changes may be critical to understanding the equation of state of dense matter and hence the properties of neutron stars. Having a quark-level understanding of dense matter will also be necessary in order to explore the phase transition to quark matter at high density and temperature. Finally, the nucleon-nucleon force itself also needs to be derived from the quark level.

The theoretical physics research activities are primarily carried out under the umbrella of the ARC Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter (CSSM).


Professor Anthony Thomas


Professor Anthony Thomas

Research area: Theoretical physics

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Physics

Tagged in Honours projects - Physics, Honours Projects - Anthony Thomas, Honours in Physics subtheme - Theoretical

Competition: Young Scientist of the Year

How do we feed the world’s growing population? How do we save our wildlife from extinction? Got an idea that will build a brighter, greener world?

Australian high school students are invited to submit a short video about one of Australia’s big science challenges.

Video competition