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

Fri., March 16, 2018, at 11:00

Kilonova: an electromagnetic signal of heavy element nucleosynthesis

Gabriel Martínez-Pinedo
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and Institut für Kernphysik (Theoriezentrum), Technische Universität Darmstadt

On August 17th 2017, the LIGO/VIRGO collaborations detected the gravitational signal GW170817 originating from a merger of two neutron stars. Shortly after an electromagnetic signal with an intrinsic brightness corresponding to thousand novas was detected by several telescopes worldwide lasting around a week. This kilonova signal has been predicted by theory long before and originates from the radioactive decay of freshly synthesized radioactive heavy nuclei produced by the r process. Hence, it answers one of the long lasting questions in nuclear astrophysics related to the astrophysical site of the r process. In this talk, I will summarize our current understanding of the r process, the answers provided by the recent observations and the remaining open questions.