Research Program of the Nuclear Astrophysics Group
Research activities of the Nuclear Astrophysics group are devoted to study of nucleosynthesis of elements in the Universe.
Already in the first three minutes after the Big Bang the first elements (Hydrogen, Helium, and a small amount of Lithium) were produced. Within the framework of Standard Big Bang nucleosynthesis (SBBN) and the observation of primordial nucleosynthesis yields of 2H, 3He, 4He, 6Li, and 7Li important information on the physical conditions of the early universe (e.g. baryon to photon density) can be obtained.
All the heavier elements are synthesised later on in stars or during stellar explosions. Elements up to iron are produced by fusion reactions as a side product of the energy generation during the various stellar burning phases.
Elements heavier than iron can not be produced by fusion reactions. Therefore, neutron capture reactions are the dominating nucleosynthesis mechanism of the heavy elements up to Thorium and Uranium.
Results of our research activities are documented in different publications.