NSF MRI awarded to Bardayan to conduct research on nuclear astrophysics

Author: Shelly Goethals

Professor Dan Bardayan received a Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on nuclear astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame’s Nuclear Science Laboratory.

With the $505,000 grant to be matched with $217,000 from the University, Bardayan will develop a nuclear decay spectrometer called SABRE, the Silicon Array for Branching Ratio Experiments. SABRE will take advantage of the unique TriSol facility at the Nuclear Science Lab to measure proton and alpha branching ratios as small as one part in one-hundred thousand, which is characteristic of many important resonances of astrophysical interest.

The primary target of this proposal is to study the decay of exotic nuclei produced in astrophysical explosions such as supernovae. The probabilities that these exotic nuclei can retain the charged particles that created them intimately determines whether heavier nuclei will be formed in the explosion. The origin of the heavy elements is ultimately tied to this competition between particle emission and absorption.

Originally published by Shelly Goethals at physics.nd.edu on September 22, 2021.