Studying the origin of the elements: Measuring Nuclear Reactions for Nuclear Astrophysics


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2015

  • Academic Year:

    2015 / 2016

  • Domains:

    Experimental Particle Physics | Astrophysics

  • Supervisor:

    Daniel Galaviz Redondo

  • Co-Supervisor:

  • Institution:

    Faculdade de Ciências - Universidade de Lisboa

  • Host Institution:

    Faculdade de Ciências - Universidade de Lisboa

  • Abstract:

    Nowadays we take for granted that there exists a periodic table with various elements that construct the world around us. But when the universe started with a big bang, there were no elements at all. Most of the elements that made up our planet (and even ourselves!) had to be created via nuclear processes inside the stars, either during their lives or death (like in a Supernova Explosion). The work presented in this proposal focuses on the interdisciplinary field of Nuclear Astrophysics, aiming at the systematic study of nuclear processes induced by charged particles at low energies, simulating the conditions present at stars. The goal of the PhD program consists of the study of proton and alpha induced reactions on heavy nuclei, with particular emphasis on (p,n) and (a,n) processes, which initially will be studied through the activation technique. The experiments will be performed at the Tandem accelerator of the LATR facility at CTN/IST, with eventual participation at other international laboratories. The candidate will profit from the interdisciplinary aspects of the program. He/She will take responsibility on the preparation, execution and analysis of the reactions to study. Additional skills like simulation of particle transport, preparation of thin targets for nuclear reaction experiments or the study of the impact of the measured reactions in nuclear astrophysics network calculations will cover the various aspects of this complete doctoral training program.