The very recent observation of a merger of two neutron stars, which has unambiguously connected an astronomical event with the production of heavy elements, is presently receiving a distinctive attention of the nuclear and astrophysics community.
In order to understand the origin of elements in the Universe, besides stellar parameters, inputs from nuclear physics are indispensable to define the actual path of the rapid neutron capture of heavy-mass and explosive synthesis of low-mass nuclei. The proposed project aims to address key unknowns at the neutron-rich side of the nuclear landscape by exploiting dedicated accelerator facilities and improved large-scale detection systems in acquisition of a new high quality data, focusing on the methods of production of neutron-rich nuclei and on excitation of exotic nuclear structures.
New informations will benchmark recent advanced theoretical models and thus progress the present understanding of nuclear interaction and the still missing link between the nuclear structure and dynamics and the theory of strong interaction which binds neutrons and protons.
The major part of the proposed experimental work will be performed at the top international accelerator facilities for stable and radioactive ion beams by using state-of-the-art detection systems. In the well suited cases, the measurements will also be performed at the RBI accelerators. This project consolidates the Croatian community of experimental low-energy nuclear physicists and strengthens its position on the map of European nuclear physics.
Senior scientists involved in this project were spokespersons of numerous experiments at international facilities, have a great experience in nuclear experimental research and a considerable international reputation. Finally, this project nicely matches the strategic community document Long Range Plan of the Nuclear Physics European Collaboration Committee of European Science Foundation.