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College of Arts & Sciences
Nuclear physics plays a fundamental role in astrophysics. Vast amounts of energy in the Universe are produced in nuclear reactions. For example, understanding the burning of stars, the dynamics of nucleosynthesis (the origin of all elements of the periodic table) and the structure of neutron stars all require detailed knowledge of nuclear properties. The precise masses of atomic nuclei, their half-lives, and key nuclear reaction rates as well as the equation of state of nuclear matter are all important ingredients in stellar models. Constraining nuclear physics input which is relevant for astrophysical processes is the main goal of the nuclear astrophysics program at the Cyclotron Institute. We use a variety of tools, both stable and radioactive beams, and direct as well as indirect measurements. Our goal is to eliminate or dramatically reduce nuclear physics uncertainties in astrophysics, and to understand the origins of all chemical elements in the Universe.