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Two Researchers honored with the GENCO Young Scientist Award



Every year, the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community (GENCO) recognizes outstanding achievements of young scientists in the field of exotic nuclei and superheavy elements by conferring the ‘GENCO Young Scientist Award’. In 2015, the award was given to the upcoming researchers Kara Marie Lynch of CERN and Christophe Rappold of Justus Liebig University Giessen and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. The award comes with 500 euros and was presented to the recipients at a special ceremony.

Ms. Lynch received her award for the outstanding research she has conducted about the radiation emitted during the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus. Using laser systems, she was able to create and study atomic nuclei with exotic properties. She was particularly interested in atomic nuclei with relatively few neutrons. By studying the decay and the structure of these atomic nuclei, she was able to prove that the nucleus is deformed by the strong force acting between nuclear constituents. The new results contribute to a better understanding of the strong force, one of the four fundamental forces of the Standard Model of physics.

Rappold developed a new, universal process which allows one to create and study nuclei containing “strange” quarks. Such nuclei are otherwise only found in neutron stars. The fundamental building blocks of matter are leptons and quarks. There are six types of quarks, and in ordinary nuclei on Earth there occur only two of them. In his experiments at GSI, Rappold succeeded to create “strange” atomic nuclei and to study their properties, such as lifetime or binding energy. Studying such nuclei containing strangeness enables insights into such exotic states of matter that are otherwise only found inside neutron stars.

GENCO is a GSI initiative to promote and support upcoming scientists working in the field of exotic nuclei and superheavy elements. One way  is by recognizing young researchers with the GENCO Young Scientist Award. In addition, every year, some experienced scientists who render outstanding service to this field are accepted into GENCO with the “Membership Award.” The scientific assessment and recommendation is carried out by a jury of high-level international experts who advise the president of GENCO and choose the award winners and new members.

Kara Marie Lynch receives her award
Prof. Münzenberg is seen presenting the award to Christophe Rappold
Kara Marie Lynch receives her award
Prof. Münzenberg is seen presenting the award to Christophe Rappold
Copyright: G-. Otto, GSI
Copyright: G-. Otto, GSI