Research: New Network for Nuclear Astrophysics
Uppsala University is a member of the new Horizon2020-network ChETEC-INFRA (Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos – Infrastructures). During the next 4 years, it will strengthen the European research landscape within nuclear astrophysics.
Early May 2021, the network ChETEC-INFRA for nuclear astrophysics was started. Up until April 2025, Uppsala University, together with 31 partners in 17 countries around Europe, will build up completely European collaborations within the interdisciplinary research field nuclear astrophysics where nuclear physics, astronomy/astrophysics and computer science will meet. The European commission supports the network with in total 5 million euro.
“We will conduct research, education and collaboration. But we mainly focus on so called Trans-National Access, which means that we will make facilities available for interested researchers. For example, it could be accelerators, telescopes and super computers”, says Andreas Korn, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University.
The participants will collaborate in various individual research projects. Together with researchers in, among others, Vilnius, Heidelberg and Trieste, Uppsala University will focus on methods for spectroscopical star analyses.
Research Project within Star Spectroscopy
Star spectroscopy gives access to the individual elements’ abundances in various objects, regions and phases in the Milky Way. With observations, researchers want to understand the processes which control the successive enrichment of the elements through various fusion processes in stars. The field is also known as Galactic archaeology since one often studies metal poor stars from the childhood of the Milky Way and the universe 12 milliard years ago.
“My mission within the research project is to develop an analysis pipeline that, at best, establishes a new standard for content analyses in the research field. The pipeline is not going to be able to do everything, but will instead be tailored for exactly the research questions we currently have. A postdoctoral will be hired to help adapt existing pipeline components to the scientific purposes the project decide on”, says Andreas Korn and finishes
“It is exciting and developing to be part of the project and the network. It is especially fun to work with the big questions in nuclear astrophysics, for example the ones concerning element formation in the Big Bang. It is astonishing that we can study atoms that were created only minutes (!) after the origin of the universe (in the so called Big Bang-nucleosynthesis).”