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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Forging the Heaviest Elements
Date: Thursday, February 4th
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: 5310 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Rebecca Surman, Notre Dame
Abstract: While the origins of the light (hydrogen, helium) and intermediate mass(carbon through iron) elements found in our solar system are well understood, we still don't know where roughly half of the elements heavier than iron were made. From the solar system abundance pattern of these nuclei, we can tell they were synthesized via rapid neutron captures in the r-process of nucleosynthesis. Exactly where the appropriate astrophysical conditions for the r-process exist, however, is still uncertain. Here we will discuss the two most popular potential astrophysical sites---core-collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers---and describe how progress in open issues in neutrino and nuclear physics may be the key to unlocking this longstanding mystery.
Host: Balantekin
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