Anna Maria Simon

Assistant Professor
Experimental Nuclear Physics

M.Sc. in Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Ph.D. in Physics, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

Office address: 221 NSH
Office phone: 574-631-9960

Web site:

Research Interests

There are several nucleosynthesis processes that happen inside stars and lead to production of all the elements that exist in the Universe. While the lightest elements are synthetized during stellar burning processes the production ceases around iron. The most intriguing question of the stellar nucleosynthesis is the origin of the elements heavier than iron that cannot be produced during stellar burning processes. The vast majority of these elements is produced via neutron capture during s- and r-processes, however a small fraction of proton-rich isotopes (p-nuclei) cannot be produced this way. The most favored scenarios to date that can explain the origin of heavy proton-rich nuclei are p- and νp-processes.

A proper description of these processes requires knowledge of several thousands of nuclear reaction cross sections. These are provided by statistical models which need to be verified by experimental data to reduce the uncertainty in the model description.

My contribution to the understanding of the p- and νp-processes is two-fold. My experimental focus is on using various techniques to experimentally determine the cross sections for reactions of interest. From activation technique through in-beam γ-ray detection to recoil separators, I utilize various techniques suitable for measurements of the (p,γ) and (α,γ) reactions relevant for the synthesis of the p-nuclei.

At the same time, I am testing the impact of the nuclear data on models of the stellar processes utilizing network calculations. The results of the calculations are compared with the solar abundances of the p-nuclei, thus provide a way to determine the stellar environment where these processes are most likely to occur. The calculations also allow for identification of the reactions most crucial for the processes to navigate the direction of the experimental efforts.

Selected Publications

The complete and up-to-date list of my publications can be found via Google Scholar Citations.

Prof. Simon CV