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The Mathematics (and Physics) of Heavy Element Synthesis

by

Rebecca Surman
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Union College

February 23, 2009
4:30 pm
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served in Bailey Hall 204 at 4:15


Abstract:

About half of the elements heavier than iron found in the Solar System were created via rapid neutron capture in a process called r-process nucleosynthesis. The basic mechanism of the r-process was understood over forty years ago, but where in the Universe it takes place and the details of how it proceeds have yet to be fully worked out. To address these questions, nuclear astrophysicists run nuclear network calculations that simulate the r-process in various astrophysical environments. Here we will describe the mathematics of these simulations and discuss the aspects of heavy element synthesis that are currently under investigation here at Union College.


For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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