Upcoming Events

X-ray Bursts, Palladium Oceans and Rare Isotope Crusts: the Strange World of Accreting Neutron Stars

December 13, 2013 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Hendrik Schatz, Michigan State University
Building 203
Physics Division Colloquium
Accreting neutron stars are bright astronomical X-ray sources that show a wide range of nuclear physics driven phenomena. The multitude of observables make them prime laboratories to study thermonuclear explosions and the properties of matter at extreme densities. Rare isotopes play a central role in the underlying nuclear reaction sequences and range from the most neutron deficient to the most neutron rich rare isotope created in nature. Despite the short terrestrial lifetimes of these isotopes of typically milliseconds, their properties shape the key observables. I will review recent progress in astronomy, in the theoretical understanding of the nuclear processes, and in attempts to experimentally produce and study the relevant rare isotopes in accelerator laboratories.