Université de Strasbourg

Breakthroughs for two USIAS Fellows at IPHC

05 July 2021

Photo Gall: K. Hauschild / Photo Courtin: P.H. Regan (U. Surrey, UK)

2015 Fellow, Sandrine Courtin, has contributed towards the partial resolution of a nuclear fission mechanism, and Benoît Gall (2021 Fellow) is preparing beam and targets that will enable the observation of new elements in the periodic table of elements. Both work at the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute (IPHC) of the University of Strasbourg.

In an article Angular momentum generation in nuclear fission, published in Nature 590, pages 566–570 (2021), scientists have partly resolved the mystery that has prevailed for over 40 years: where is the energy that causes the atomic nuclei to spin once they have split during the fission process derived from? Read the full interview, in which Sandrine Courtin gives more details.

Special congratulations are also in order for Sandrine Courtin, who has just been appointed as director of the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute (IPHC).


Her colleague, Benoît Gall, who will soon commence his USIAS Fellowship, works on superheavy elements. The periodic table of elements, or Mendeleev table, is currently composed of 118 chemical elements and Professor Gall’s search for elements 119 and 120 has taken him to Japan and Russia in Dubna, where a superheavy element factory – or SHE factory – has recently been created and allows scientists to push technological limits. More information is provided in this article compiled by the University of Strasbourg. The research links into his USIAS project Developing innovative materials for extreme beams and rare targets.

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