Applied Physics

Physics, the original interdisciplinary science, has a host of applications in many areas of immediate interest and relevance to society. Ion beam analysis techniques such as PIXE and RBS, based on a 3 MV accelerator, are used to study content and structure of environmental samples and hi-tech devices and materials. Medical physics projects employ atomic and nuclear techniques to measure toxic trace elements in the body in the context of occupational health; a system for assessing bone Sr content is being developed. Atomic and nuclear techniques also underpin the development and application of X-ray analysis methods for geochemical exploration of planetary surfaces, through the MER, MSL, and future space missions.