Nuclear Astrophysics

Neutron rich matter is produced when any material is compressed enough so that electrons are captured by protons to create neutrons. This material is at the heart of many fundamental questions in nuclear physics and astrophysics. What are the phases of high-density matter, and what are their equations of state? Where did the chemical elements come from? The observation of two merging neutron stars in 2017 in both gravitational waves and across the electromagnetic spectrum has allowed us to begin exploring nuclear astrophysics with gravitational waves and the light emitted as the stars collide.

Faculty, postdocs and students in the Center explore neutron-rich matter and the

nuclear equation of state by combining information from nuclear experiments, astronomical observations, astrophysical simulations, and nuclear theory.

Our group is one of the founding institutions of the Nuclear Physics from Multi-Messenger Mergers (NP3M) National Science Foundation Focused Research Hub. NP3M is a national nuclear physics effort which aims to systematically probe the properties of hot and dense strongly interacting matter with multi-messenger observations of neutron star mergers. Our students and postdocs have the opportunity to collaborate with NP3M institutions, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, which the Center collaborates closely with.