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December 7, 202011:30 am – 12:30 pm (CDT)

The Importance of Nuclear Astrophysics in the Evolution of the Elements in Galaxies


Benoit Cote (Konkoly Observatory)


Jonelle Walsh

Event Details

The chemical composition of the Universe is continuously evolving. Since the Big Bang nucleosynthesis, which only produced hydrogen, helium, and lithium, countless number of astrophysical events such as supernova explosions and neutron star mergers have enriched galaxies with heavier elements. Studying the chemical evolution of galaxies represents a significant challenge because of the wide range of physical processes that occur from nuclear to galactic scales. My expertise lies in the field of galaxy simulations, but my research program lives at the interface between nuclear physics, nucleosynthesis, stellar evolution, and galaxy evolution, and connects to the era of multi-messenger astronomy by combining constraints from gravitational waves, stellar spectroscopy, and meteorites. How can we use this framework to better understand the origin of the elements and isotopes in the Universe? What are the different astrophysical sites that contributed to the chemical composition we see today? In this seminar, I will explain why multi-disciplinary connections are necessary to answer these questions, and show the importance of nuclear astrophysics when interpreting astronomical observations.

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