Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Karlheinz Langanke
Title The FAIR Chance for Nuclear Astrophysics

Massive stars end their lives in cataclysmic events, called supernovae, triggered by the gravitational collapse of their inner core. Many exotic, in particular neutron-rich, nuclei come into existence during the extreme conditions of a supernova and play an important role for its dynamics and the associated explosive nucleosynthesis. During the collapse phase reactions mediated by the weak interaction like electron capture on nuclei have significant impact on the composition and properties of the collapsing core. The early ejecta from the newly born proto-neutron star are first proton-rich and presumably neutron-rich in the later stage initiating nup- and r-process nucleosynthesis, respectively. These processes involve short-lived nuclei far-off the nuclear valley of stability. Their production and experimental study will be possible at FAIR, the Facility of Antiproton and Ion Research, which will be constructed as extension of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

The talk will give a short presentation of FAIR and its unique possibilities for nuclear astrophysics and will also discuss highlights of recent experimental and theoretical advances in determining properties of exotic nuclei and the further needs for reliable studies of supernova dynamics and nucleosynthesis.