Experimental nuclear physics for light element nucleosynthesis

  • Date May 7, 2015
  • Hour 3 pm
  • Room GSSI Main Lecture Hall
  • Speaker Richard James DeBoer (University of Notre Dame)


The variety of ways that we study creation of the elements in the laboratory may be even more varied than the different natural environments in which they are created. For light elements, most are created in the hot environments of the Big Bang or during the normal life cycles of a star, and to study their creation on earth requires quite a bit of ingenuity. In this lecture I will talk about the different approaches that have been developed to study the kinds of nuclear reactions important for low mass nucleosynthesis in the laboratory. These different techniques range from classical accelerator based experiments, to high intensity laser driven fusion, to laboratories located deep underground. I will draw on my experiences at a classical nuclear physics laboratory like the one located at the University of Notre Dame, at photon production laboratories like the High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source at the Triangle University Laboratories, at low background facilities like LUNA, and at laser driven laboratories like the National Ignition Facility to give a wide overview of the kinds of experiments that have been done and are on the forefront of measurements today.