Resonant Nuclear Gamma Decay and the Heavy-Element Nucleosynthesis (gResonant)
All elements in the Universe, except for the lightest ones, are made in stars.
But the heavier elements, like gold, lead and uranium, are not. How are they made?
gResonant is an ERC Starting grant awarded to Ann-Cecilie Larsen.
Project period: March 1, 2015 - February 28, 2020
Key scientific questions
What is the nature of resonances in the γ-decay probability below/close to particle threshold in atomic nuclei? What is the impact of such resonant γ decay on unknown neutron-capture reaction cross sections for the heavy-element nucleosynthesis?
How can the most important of these unknown cross sections be predicted with a sufficient precision, so that they don’t represent a major source of uncertainty in astrophysics applications, for next-generation nuclear reactors, and transmutation of nuclear waste?
Vision and goals
The obtained results will greatly improve our fundamental understanding of nuclear γ-decay resonances below/close to the particle threshold energies for nuclei close to the valley of stability, and also for neutron-rich and superheavy nuclei.
The results are expected to bring novel, experimental results of vital importance for predicting unknown reaction cross-sections and reaction rates, and will give a major leap forward for our understanding of nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics and applied nuclear physics.