Some aspects of fission and quasifission processes
The discovery of nuclear fission in 1938–1939 had a profound influence on the field of nuclear physics and it brought this branch of physics into the forefront as it was recognized for having the potential for its seminal influence on modern society. Although many of the basic features of actinide fission were described in a ground-breaking paper by Bohr and Wheeler only six months after the discovery, the fission process is very complex and it has been a challenge for both experimentalists and theorists to achieve a complete and satisfactory understanding of this phenomenon. Many aspects of nuclear physics are involved in fission and it continues to be a subject of intense study even three quarters of a century after its discovery. In this talk, I will review an incomplete subset of the major milestones in fission research, and briefly discuss some of the topics that I have been involved in during my career. These include studies of vibrational resonances and fission isomers that are caused by the second minimum in the fission barrier in actinide nuclei, studies of heavy-ion-induced fission in terms of the angular distributions and the mass–angle correlations of fission fragments. Some of these studies provided evidence for the importance of the quasifission process and the attendant suppression of the complete fusion process. Finally, some of the circumstances around the establishment of large-scale nuclear research in India will be discussed.