The general aim of Nuclear Physics is the study of nuclear matter properties, starting from its basic components, protons and neutrons with their internal structure made of quarks and gluons, up to the heaviest and complex nuclei, both those existing in nature and those artificially produced which are characterized by a very short lifetime.
The research activities in this field of Physics are coordinated at the Italian level by the INFN National Scientific Committee 3 and are divided in four different sectors, following the NuPECC classification scheme, i.e.:
Sector 1: Quark and hadron dynamics. To this sector belong experiments devoted to the study of nucleon spin and nucleon resonances, nuclear medium effects, hypernuclei spectroscopy, kaonic and pion atoms. National and international Laboratories involved: Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati (LNF), CERN, the Thomas Jefferson Laboratory (JLAB) and, in the future, the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL).
At the Bologna INFN Division the EIC_NET collaboration is working on the future construction of an experiment at the BNL.
Sector 2: Phase transitions of nuclear and hadronic matter. To this sector belong experiments devoted to the study of liquid-vapour phase transition and equation of state of nuclear matter (EOS), chiral symmetry restoration, quark deconfinement and the hadronic matter to Quark Gluon Plasma (QGP) phase transition. International laboratories involved: CERN.
At the Bologna INFN Division a group is working in the ALICE experiment (CERN).
Sector 3: Nuclear structure and reaction dynamics. To this sector belong experiments devoted to the study of fission and fusion reaction mechanisms, production and study of exotic nuclei far from the stability region, nuclear structure with gamma spectroscopy, radioactive ion beams and muonic hydrogen atoms. National and international laboratories involved: Laboratori Nazionali di Legnaro (LNL), Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS) and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL).
At the Bologna INFN Division a group is working in the FAMU experiment (RAL). For many years a collaboration was active in the NUCL-EX experiment in which the Bologna group played a fundamental role.
Sector 4: Nuclear astrophysics and interdisciplinary researches. To this sector belong experiments devoted to the measurement of very low-energy cross sections of astrophysical interest, neutron cross sections of astrophysical and applicative interest especially in the medical field, and to the study of the stellar evolution and of plasmas for astrophysics, the observation of nuclear decays and the radiation for archeometry. National and international laboratories involved: Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologia (CNAO), CERN and GSI.
At the Bologna INFN Division three groups are collaborating to the following experiments: FOOT (CNAO e GSI), n_TOF (CERN), PANDORA (LNS).