The Atominstitut (ATI) was established in 1958 as an inter-university institute, and in 1962 opened at its current location with the commissioning of the TRIGA Mark II research reactor. In 2002 the Atominstitut was integrated into the Faculty of Physics at the TU Wien and is now dedicated to today’s broad range of research and education ranging from very fundamental questions about symmetries and interactions in nuclear and particle physics to neutron-, atomic-, quantum-physics and quantum optics to radiation- and reactor physics to applied tasks such as environmental monitoring, radiation protection or for example the radiation resistance of modern materials.
A central facility thereby is the TRIGA Mark II research reactor and the connected teaching and research infrastructure, which allow us to educate and work with radioactive materials and ionizing radiation. An important contribution thereby is the training of international experts for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Radiochemistry and Neutron Activation Analysis
Provenancing – The ongoing work of the Radiochemistry group that was for many years based on the provenancing of pumice and other geological material has recently expanded to include ceramics. The analytical provenancing of ceramic artefacts has is currently done in the context of several cooperations with archaeologists:
- J. Budka, Project Across Borders (ERC Starting grant no. 313668 and FWF START prize Y-615): Analysis of 400+ samples of ceramic sherds and soil samples from Sai Island in Northern Sudan. Material sampled includes ancient Nubian as well as imported Egyptian ware in a timeframe from ~7000 BC to 1000 BC.
- M. Shinoto/N. Nakamura: Project Sueki (Studies on the Nakadake Sanroku Kiln Site Cluster): Analysis of 300+ samples of ceramic sherds, soil samples and kiln wall samples, 9th-15th century AD.
- P. Fischer: The Collapse of Bronze Age Societies in the Eastern Mediterranean: Sea Peoples in Cyprus? (Swedish Research Council project 2016–2019): Analysis of 50 sherds from the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Chemical processes resulting from and studied by nuclear radiation – Projects in synthetic (reactor) radioisotope preparation and application have been initiated and legacy projects in environmental analysis are being completed. This addresses production of 99Mo by Szilard-Chalmers processes and studies of the chemistry resulting from such processes as well as the study of fundamental properties of the lanthanide and actinide elements utilizing radiotracers.