NUCLEAR ASTROPHYSICS

Second cycle degree in PHYSICS

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: Second Semester

Lecturer: -- --

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 6


Syllabus
Prerequisites: Elements of quantum mechanics and general physics
Examination methods: Oral/written examination on all topics covered during the course.
Course unit contents: Thermonuclear reactions.
Definition of nuclear cross section, astrophysical S-factor, reaction rate, and Gamow peak.
Nuclear burnings during hydrostatic and explosive stellar evolutionary phases.
Elements of stellar modelling.
Hydrogen burning: p-p chains, CNO, NeNa, MgAl cycles.
Helium burning: triple-alpha reaction and alpha + 12C.
Advanced nuclear burnings (C, Ne, O, Si).
Neutron-capture reactions (s and r: slow and rapid)
For each topic we provide an overview of the most relevant results in the recent literature.

How to determine the reaction rate for several cases (direct capture, narrow resonances, broad resonances)
How to perform a nuclear astrophysics experiment (every topic will be discussed with of existing experimental facilities and their most recent results)
The environmental background and how to shield it (passive and active shielding) Underground experiment
Brief discussion on ion beam accelerators
Elements on detectors (gamma, neutrons, and charged particles)
Experimental measurements of the cross section (from the experimental yield to the S-factor)
Targets typology (gas, jet, and solid target). Target production techniques and how targets influence
the experimental measurements.
Brief discussion on indirect methods (Trojan Horse, ANC, …)