ERC Starting Grant for CRYRING research awarded to Dr. Carlo Bruno


Another ERC Grant has been awarded for research closely connected with FAIR and GSI. Dr. Carlo Bruno, a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh (UK), is one of the 397 researchers across Europe to receive a so-socalled ERC Starting Grant this year. His project “Elements in the Lives and Deaths of stARs (ELDAR)“ will address how stars synthesize new elements and how these elements are disseminated into our galaxy. First experiments in the framework of ELDAR have already been approved at the GSI/FAIR research facility.

Nuclear reactions taking place inside stars play a central role in their evolution. Measuring these reactions in laboratories here on Earth is needed to answer fundamental questions about the origin of the elements that make up our Universe. The ELDAR project will develop new approaches for charged-particle detection at two world-leading European laboratories, FAIR (Germany) and Gran Sasso (Italy), and forge new links between leading European science communities using different methods to study stellar scenarios that are intimately linked in nature.

At FAIR, ELDAR will use a novel and world-unique approach, studying reactions induced by stable and radioactive beams at the newly commissioned CRYRING@ESR heavy ion storage ring, using the recently installed CARME detector array. While the new FAIR accelerator is currently under construction, the CRYRING@ESR is already in operation at the existing accelerator facility of GSI and employed in the ongoing experimental program FAIR Phase 0. Measurement of reactions involving radioactive nuclei are critical to model and understand the wealth of new astronomical data from stellar explosions. ELDAR will make use of CRYRING@ESR to investigate key nuclear reactions that play an important role in stellar scenarios from the Big Bang to supernovae explosions.

At the low temperatures of slow stellar burning, nuclear reactions rates are too low to be detected above natural radioactive background on Earth. The LUNA accelerator, located underground at Gran Sasso, is the world-leading facility to study reactions that drive slow stellar evolution. ELDAR will build a new array to study charged-particle reactions at LUNA, making full use of the capabilities of this cutting-edge facility to study a key issue in globular clusters.

ERC Starting Grants support outstanding researchers at an early career stage showing great promise and an excellent research proposal under the EU’s Research and Innovation program, Horizon Europe. Grants worth on average €1.5 million will help ambitious researchers launch their own projects, form their teams of postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, and pursue their research ideas. Researchers from or closely connected to GSI and FAIR have been very successful in the past years in receiving ERC Starting or Advanced Grants. (CP)

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