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GSI

GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research
59 Projects, page 1 of 12
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 682841
    Overall Budget: 1,874,750 EURFunder Contribution: 1,874,750 EUR

    The main goal of ASTRUm is to employ stored and cooled radioactive ions for forefront nuclear astrophysics research. Four key experiments are proposed to be conducted at GSI in Darmstadt, which holds the only facility to date capable of storing highly charged radionuclides in the required element and energy range. The proposed experiments can hardly be conducted by any other technique or method. The weak decay matrix element for the transition between the 2.3 keV state in 205Pb and the ground state of 205Tl will be measured via the bound state beta decay measurement of fully ionized 205Tl81+. This will provide the required data to determine the solar pp-neutrino flux integrated over the last 5 million years and will allow us to unveil the astrophysical conditions prior to the formation of the solar system. The measurements of the alpha-decay width of the 4.033 MeV excited state in 19Ne will allow us to constrain the conditions for the ignition of the rp-process in X-ray bursters. ASTRUm will open a new field by enabling for the first time measurements of proton- and alpha-capture reaction cross-sections on radioactive nuclei of interest for the p-process of nucleosynthesis. Last but not least, broad band mass and half-life measurements in a ring is the only technique to precisely determine these key nuclear properties for nuclei with half-lives as short as a millisecond and production rates of below one ion per day. To accomplish these measurements with highest efficiency, sensitivity and precision, improved detector systems will be developed within ASTRUm. Possible applications of these systems go beyond ASTRUm objectives and will be used in particular in accelerator physics. The instrumentation and experience gained within ASTRUm will be indispensable for planning the future, next generation storage ring projects, which are launched or proposed at several radioactive ion beam facilities.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 885281
    Overall Budget: 2,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,500,000 EUR

    The lightest chemical elements –Hydrogen and Helium– were created about a minute after the Big Bang. Elements up to Iron are forged by fusion reactions in stars. Heavy elements between Iron and Uranium are produced by a sequence of neutron captures and beta-decays known as rapid neutron capture or r process. The freshly synthesized r-process elements undergo radioactive decay through various channels depositing energy in the ejecta that powers an optical/infrared transient called “kilonova” whose basic properties like luminosity and its dependence on ejecta mass, velocity, radioactive energy input, and atomic opacities I contributed to determine for the first time. Our predictions have been dramatically confirmed by the observation of a kilonova electromagnetic transient associated with the gravitational wave signal GW170817 providing the first direct indication that r-process elements are produced in neutron-star mergers. Additional events are expected to be detected in the following years, representing a complete change of paradigm in r-process research as for the first time we will be confronted with direct observational data. To fully exploit such opportunity it is fundamental to combine an improved description of exotic neutron-rich nuclei involved in the r-process with sophisticated astrophysical simulations to provide accurate prediction of r-process nucleosynthesis yields and their electromagnetic signals to be confronted with observational data. Based on my broad knowledge and expertise in all the relevant areas, and the unique experimental capabilities of the GSI/FAIR facility, I am in prime position to advance our understanding of r-process nucleosynthesis and determine the contribution of mergers to the chemical enrichment of the galaxy in heavy elements.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 628366
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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 759253
    Overall Budget: 1,499,480 EURFunder Contribution: 1,499,480 EUR

    In the arising era of gravitational-wave (GW) astronomy the demand for the next-generation of neutron-star (NS) merger models has never been so great. By developing the first relativistic moving-mesh simulations of NS mergers, we will be able to reliably link observables of these spectacular events to fundamental questions of physics. Our approach will allow us to maximize the information that can be obtained from different GW oscillations of the postmerger remnant. In this way we will demonstrate the scientific potential of future postmerger GW detections to unravel unknown properties of NSs and high-density matter. Based on our models we will work out the optimal GW data analysis strategy towards this goal. Employing a revolutionary numerical technique we will be able to achieve an unprecedented resolution of the merger outflow. High-resolution simulations of these ejecta are critical to uncover the detailed conditions for nucleosynthesis, specifically, for the rapid-neutron capture process (r-process). The r-process forges the heaviest elements such as gold and uranium, but its astrophysical production site still has to be clarified. Moreover, the nuclear decays in the expanding outflow power electromagnetic counterparts, which are targets of optical survey telescopes (iPTF, ZTF, BlackGEM, LSST). Our multi-disciplinary approach combines hydrodynamical models, nuclear network calculations and light-curve computations to facilitate the interpretation of future electromagnetic observations within a multi-messenger picture. Linking these observables to the underlying outflow properties is pivotal to unravel the still mysterious origin of heavy elements created by the r-process.

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  • Funder: EC Project Code: 883425
    Overall Budget: 2,500,000 EURFunder Contribution: 2,500,000 EUR

    Cancer remains one of the main causes of death worldwide. In 2018, >50% cancer patients in Europe underwent radiotherapy. While over 80% were treated using high-energy X-rays, the number of patients receiving accelerated protons or heavy ions (charged particle therapy: CPT) is rapidly growing, with nearly 200,000 patients treated up till now. Although CPT offers a better depth-dose distribution compared to common X-ray based techniques, range uncertainty and poor image guidance still limit its application. Improving accuracy is key to broadening the applicability of CPT. In BARB, we will open a new paradigm in the clinical use of CPT by using high-intensity radioactive ion beams (RIB), produced at GSI/FAIR-phase-0 in Darmstadt, for simultaneous treatment and visualization. This will reduce range uncertainty and extend the applicability of CPT to treatment of small lesions (e.g. metastasis and heart ventricles) with unprecedented precision. The Facility for Antiprotons and Ion Research (FAIR) is currently under construction at GSI. RIB are one of the main tools for basic nuclear physics studies in the new facility. As part of the ongoing FAIR-phase-0, an intensity upgrade will increase the light ion currents in the existing SIS18 synchrotron. Within this project BARB, we will study four b+ emitters (10,11C, and 14,15O) and build an innovative hybrid detector for online positron emission tomography (PET) and g-ray imaging. This novel detector will acquire both prompt g-rays during the beam-on phase of the pulsed synchrotron beam delivery, and the delayed emission from b+ annihilation during the pulse intervals. The technique will be further validated in vivo by applying it to treatment of small tumors in a mouse model. BARB will exploit the potential of the Bragg peak in medicine. The project will tweak RIB production in nuclear physics and validate the therapeutic potential of RIB therapy in vivo by empowering simultaneous treatment and visualization.

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