The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

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Dr. Kate Jones


Experimental Nuclear Physics
Office: 407B Nielsen
Phone: (865) 974-4022

See Dr. Jones' Article for Higher Ground: Stardust and Atom Smashers and the Related Video


Nuclear Astrophysics/Nuclear Structure

I use direct nuclear reactions to extract information about the structure of the atomic nucleus, which can aid in understanding nucleosynthetic processes that occur in the cosmos. Many of these studies have been performed on short-lived nuclei around doubly-magic 132Sn. This region is important as the nuclear shell structure influences the path of the rapid neutron capture (r-) process, which is responsible for the production of roughly half of the elements heavier than iron. Other projects I'm working on include studying resonant reactions in light neutron-deficient nuclei, important in nova nucleosynthesis and X-ray bursts. I am leading efforts to develop proton-transfer reactions to be used with radioactive ion beams and developing an advanced scintillator array for gamma-ray measurements, HAGRiD.

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Creative Teaching

Dr. Jones teaches Physics 341, a requirement for all students of nuclear engineering and an upper-level physics elective. She was concerned about the lack of fit between a 1988 text and current research in the field. To remedy this, she revised the course structure to incorporate group research projects, so that students could extend the foundational material in the text by investigating and sharing current ideas and research in the field of nuclear physics. Read more about her creative teaching approach at:

Brief Vita

Selected Recent Publications


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System