JINA-CEE addresses open questions at the intersection of astrophysics and nuclear physics connecting astronomical observations, experiments with nuclear accelerators, theoretical astrophysics and nuclear physics, and computational models.
MA1: The Origin of the Elements
When tracing our origins back to the Big Bang, the transition from a three element (H, He, Li) Universe, to a chemically diverse cosmos of 82 long-lived elements, stands out in significance.
One goal of JINA-CEE is to explore the open questions surrounding this transition, including "What are the nuclear reactions and stellar environments producing the isotopes in the first billion years and how can we study these processes in the laboratory?," "What are their individual contributions?," and "How do these nuclear and astrophysical processes interact and evolve as the abundance levels increase?"
MA2: High Density Matter Probed by Neutron Stars
Neutron stars are entirely made of the same nuclear matter than the atomic nuclei in our bodies. JINA-CEE aims to understand the connection between the properties of this high density nuclear matter and the powerful cosmic phenomena frequently observed in connection with neutron stars such as gamma-ray and X-ray bursts.
The goal is to use neutron stars as unique laboratories to answer fundamental questions about the matter we are made of: "What is the energy density of nuclear matter?", "Are there novel phases of nuclear matter?", "How do nuclei react in a high density environment and can we restage the same processes in the laboratory?"
These two areas are closely connected. Dense matter properties and neutron stars play a critical role in a variety of important element creating processes, such as supernova explosions and neutron star mergers. Both areas require similar detailed information on stable and unstable nuclei, such as the rates of fusion reactions, the rates of neutron induced reactions on unstable nuclei, and various weak interaction processes.
Watch scientific animations of element synthesis and models of cosmic explosions.
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