Nuclear reactions in superdense matter - from the laboratory to the stars

  • Galloway, Duncan (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Heger, Alexander (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Schatz, Hendrik (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Keek, Laurens (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Chenevez, Jerome (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Cumming, Andrew (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Brown, Edward (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Sun, Yang (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Cyburt, Richard H (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Thielemann, Friedrich Karl (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Falanga, Maurizio (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Type I X-ray bursts are thermonuclear flashes observed from accreting neutron stars in binary star
systems. Due to the strong gravity and high temperature, these bursts probe nuclear physics and
reactions not encountered elsewhere in nature, involving the most proton-rich nuclei known to exist,
that we only recently have begun to study at cutting-edge rare isotope accelerator laboratories. On
the other hand, they also depend on the properties of the underlying neutron star and hence the
properties of matter at these extreme conditions. The ultimate goal of this project is to reconcile,
in detail, experimental, observational and numerical investigations on these bursts and the nuclear
reactions that power them. To achieve this goal, we have assembled a team to identify the key
nuclear reactions which influence the burst lightcurve; take advantage of new rare-isotope acceleratorbased
experiments and satellite observations to provide stringent tests of numerical models; identify
specific cases of ignition and burning from observation-model comparisons; and provide qualitatively
new constraints on the properties of neutron stars and nuclear matter. With its focus on linking
astrophysics with the underlying nuclear physics of exotic nuclei and neutron stars, this project is
distinct from, and complementary to, previous ISSI projects related to thermonuclear bursts.
Effective start/end date1/06/1530/06/17