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Dr Christian Diget
Senior Lecturer



BSc, MSc, PhD (Aarhus), MInstP

Summary of expertise

  • Nuclear astrophysics
  • Cluster dynamics
  • Highly-segmented detector arrays
  • Statistical data analysis

School roles

Chair of School Teaching Committee
Second-year Tutor
Chair of School Teaching Committee
Second-year Tutor


Institute of Physics Astroparticle Physics Group Early Career Award 2010-2011




How were the chemical elements that we consist of created? What determines the impact exploding stars have on our universe? These two questions are central in our understanding of the universe and for how we see ourselves in relation to the history and evolution of the universe. Christian’s research is focussed on these questions through studies of:

  • Ignition of a rapid reaction chain of proton captures on the surface of compact stars (white dwarfs and neutron stars) in binary-star systems.
  • Light-ion fusion in Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis and massive stars.
  • Nucleosynthesis in neutron-star mergers, a key contender for the creation of a large fraction of the chemical elements heavier than iron.

This research programme in nuclear astrophysics is in its nature interdisciplinary, through the strong links to observational astronomy and computational astrophysics. The investigations therefore require collaboration with scientists outside the field of nuclear physics, in particular astrophysicists, through which additional knowledge and expertise is drawn in, as well as through close collaboration with nuclear theory. The (often radioactive) nuclei involved in the reactions are produced and accelerated at ion-beam facilities, and through the use of state-of-the-art particle-detector arrays we measure the particles emitted in the reactions. In this way, we reproduce the conditions in stellar explosions on a microscopic scale, investigating the reactions that govern the evolution and death of stars. To this end we currently utilise the radioactive-ion-beam facilities TRIUMF (Canada), JYFL-IGISOL (Finland), NSCL (USA), and SPIRAL (France) as well as the stable-beam facilities iThemba LABS (South Africa), Orsay (France), and Aarhus (Denmark), and is complemented by gamma-beam experiments at the HIGS (USA) and ELI-NP (Romania) facilities.


  • Search for the second excited 12C 2+ state using 12N and 12B decay beta-triple-alpha coincidence measurements at IGISOL
  • Determining the α + 15O radiative capture rate by measurement of the 6Li(15O,d)19Ne reaction 7Li(γ,t)4He above Eγ = 4 MeV

Research group(s)

  • Miss Eleanor Dunling (PhD student)
  • Mr Joseph Frost-Schenk (PhD student)
  • Miss Ruchi Garg (PhD student)
  • Mr Daniel Golton (MSc student)
  • Mr Nicolas Hubbard (PhD student)
  • Mr Matthew Shelley (PhD student)


  • Nuclear Physics Consolidated Grant - STFC 2017-2021


  • Dr C. Matei, ELI-NP, Romania
  • Dr B. Davids, TRIUMF, 
  • Dr N. de Séréville, IPN-Orsay
  • Dr H.O.U. Fynbo, University of Aarhus

Department of Physics
University of York
YO10 5DD
Tel: +44 (0)1904 322221
Room P/E005




  • Year 2: Quantum Physics II - Quantum Mechanics
  • Year 2: Quantum Physics II - Particle Physics

Other teaching


  • Lead of the Binding Blocks collaboration


  • Binding Blocks public engagement in nuclear physics - EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award 2016
  • Binding Blocks educational programme - STFC Public Engagement Small Award 2016–2018
  • Gender equality in physics and student-driven virtual material with Binding Blocks - STFC Public Engagement Small Award 2017–2019