Hello from Cairns, Australia, from the Nuclei in the Cosmos conference. The organizers have chosen this spot very well with warm, sunny weather all day, it’s just unfortunate that we are staying in dark, air-conditioned rooms all day……
Besides that the conference is where astrophysicists meet nuclear physicists. Nuclei in the Cosmos deals with the production of all elements in stars, may it be fusion, neutron capture or photo-disassociation.
The synthesis of elements in stars involves very complex networks of nuclear reactions, which involves hundreds of different nuclides with tens of thousands of different reactions. To get a reliable result when modelling stars the astrophysicists need accurate data about nuclear reactions. But with so many different ones it is not possible to measure all so many rely on theoretical predictions. However, important reactions, which have big impacts on the outcome of models, are measured in detail and the outcomes are discussed in details at the conference.
The cosmochemistry group at the University of Manchester measure absolute values of isotopes in extra solar and solar system material in an attempt to discover the processes, which led to the formation of the solar system. As such we are able to deliver real observable constraints that astrophysicists are then able to feed back into their stellar models and provide possible stellar locations for the production of isotopes found in our solar system.