290E Seminar

Physics 290E: Nuclear Astrophysics
Microphysics of the Cosmos


The Nuclear Astrophysics seminar for Spring 2010 meets on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 pm in 325 LeConte Hall. LeConte Hall.

Nuclear physics is a critical component of the microphysics that drives the evolution of the Universe. You are familiar with the story of "the first three minutes" of everything, in which the seeds of cosmic-scale structure began to germinate.  Big Bang nucleosynthesis provided perhaps the first precise constraint on early cosmology, determining the baryon-to-photon ratio.  But what happened after that?  How were the first stars made, and when?  What role did their radiation, magnetic fields, shock waves, and ejecta play in subsequent development of large-scale structure?   When and where were the elements heavier than helium synthesized?  How do massive stars die, and what determines their end state – neutron star or black hole?   What kinds of “nuclear forensics” can be done to determine the conditions under which new nuclei are synthesized in novae, supernovae, and neutron-star mergers?

This seminar will describe how astronomical observations, astrophysical and stellar modeling, and laboratory measurements come together to help us understand the evolution and composition of galaxies like the Milky Way.  We stress the “inner space – outer space” connections:  the chain that leads from nuclear properties measured in the laboratory (cross sections, lifetimes, masses), through theoretical models of stellar formation, evolution, and death, to some of nature’s most extreme astrophysical environments.


January 27, 2010 -- Wick Haxton (UCB and LBNL): A Vast Overview of Nuclear Astrophysics: Experiments, Theories, Computations, Implications
Lecture Notes

February 3, 2010 -- Carl Brune (University of Ohio):  "Stellar Helium Burning"
Lecture Notes

February 10, 2010 -- R.N. Boyd (Lawrence Livermore National Lab): Supernovae and the Chirality of the Amino Acids
Lecture Notes

February 17, 2010 -- Wick Haxton (UCB and LBNL): The Nuclear Astrophysics of Core-Collapse Supernovae

February 24, 2010 -- TBA


March 3, 2010 -- TBA


March 10, 2010 -- TBA


March 17, 2010 -- TBA


March 24, 2010 -- TBA


March 31, 2010 -- TBA


April 7, 2010 -- TBA


April 14, 2010 -- TBA


April 21, 2010 -- TBA


April 28, 2010 -- TBA

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