Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., May 05, 2016, at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM (refreshments served at 2:40 PM)

Classical Novae and the Physics of Exploding Stars

Jordi José, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
Physics Division, Bldg. 6008 Large Conference Room

At the turn of the 21st Century, new tools and developments, at the crossroads of theoretical and computational astrophysics, observational astronomy, cosmochemistry, and nuclear physics, have revolutionized our understanding of the physics of stellar explosions –novae, in particular. The use of space-borne observatories, for instance, has opened new windows to study the cosmos through multifrequency observations. Indeed, since the last decades, UV, X- and γ-ray satellites have been used simultaneously to ground-based optical and radiotelescopes to analyze stellar explosions at different wavelengths. In parallel to the elemental stellar abundances inferred spectroscopically, cosmochemists are now providing isotopic abundance ratios from micron-sized presolar grains extracted from meteorites. Encapsulated in those grains, there is pristine information about the suite of nuclear processes that took place in their stellar progenitors, which translate into huge isotopic anomalies with respect to bulk Solar System material. The dawn of supercomputing has also provided astrophysicists with the appropriate tools to study complex physical phenomena that require a truly multidimensional approach (e.g., convective and radiative energy transport in stars, mixing, flame propagation…). Last but not least, nuclear physicists have developed new experimental (and theoretical) techniques to determine nuclear interactions at or close to stellar energies, at the so-called Gamow window, thus reducing the burden but also the risk associated with extrapolation of measurements from the energies accessible in the laboratory down to stellar energies. In this talk, a number of breakthroughs from all these different disciplines will be presented, in relation with the physical mechanisms that operate during nova explosions.

Contact: Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri, 865-574-6124