Dr. Andreas BEST winner of an ERC Starting Grant
Dr. Andreas Best of the Department of Physics "Ettore Pancini" has been awarded a highly competitive ERC starting grant. "SHADES - Scintillator-He3 Array for Deep-underground Experiments on the S-process" aims to provide new direct measurement data on a reaction of critical importance for the synthesis of the heavy elements in the Universe: Ne-22(a,n)Mg-25.
An improved measurement has been a long-standing goal of the nuclear astrophysics community, but the very low reaction rates at low energies have prevented any progress in direct measurements in the last 20 years.
Through the construction of an innovative hybrid neutron detector and by relying on a state-of-the-art ion accelerator in the deep underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory Dr. Best aims to measure this important stellar reaction directly in the energy region of stellar burning, the so-called "Gamow window".
The project with a duration of five years has been awarded ~1.4 Million Euro by the European Research Council and is hosted by the University of Naples Federico II, with the INFN as a project partner.