Physics & Astronomy Colloquium: Prof. Alfredo Estrade, Central Michigan University


Location: 118 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

Experiments with unstable isotopes beams and nucleosynthesis of the heavy elements

Prof. Alfredo Estrade
Central Michigan University

The origin of heaviest chemical elements is a fundamental open question in nuclear astrophysics. Half of the elements heavier than iron are thought to be synthesized by nucleosynthesis processes during explosive astrophysical events, with the bulk of the contribution coming from the rapid neutron-capture process (r-process). Over the last decade there has been significant progress in our understanding of heavy element nucleosynthesis, in particular from astronomical observations such as the detection of a kilonova formed after the merger of two neutron stars, or the measurement of elemental abundances in old stars of the Galactic halo. Together with progress in nucleosynthesis models, such wealth of astronomical data has only increased the demand for precise nuclear data on the properties of the unstable isotopes involved in the nuclear reactions driving the r-process. This can now be addressed by a new generation of accelerator laboratories that have made a large fraction of r-process isotopes within reach of experiments. I will present results from recent beta-decay measurements at the Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory (RIBF) in RIKEN, Japan, which covered regions of the nuclear chart from selenium up to gadolinium. I will also discuss the perspectives for r-process experiments at the newly commissioned Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University.

Hosted by Prof. Brodeur