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BRIDGCE UK network members join new €5 MILLION European Nuclear Astrophysics Network

The Universities of Hull and Keele (beneficiary institutions) and the Universities of York and Edinburgh (associated institutes) are part of a €5 million European research network designed to boost engagement with nuclear astrophysics research.

Prof Raphael Hirschi from Keele, Dr Marco Pignatari from Hull & Prof Alison Laird from York, all BRIDGCE steering committee members as well as Dr Claudia Lederer in Edinburgh are joining colleagues from across Europe to take part in the ChETEC-INFRA (Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos - Infrastructures for Nuclear Astrophysics) project.

Professor Hirschi, said: "This new European-wide project is exciting and builds upon the ChETEC COST Action that I have been leading over the past four years.

“It provides a unique opportunity to support the nuclear astrophysics community with the tools and facilities to make scientific breakthroughs concerning the evolution of stars and galaxies, answering questions such as those on what stars are we made of, and what the range is of stellar black hole masses."

Hull and Keele have been awarded a total of €695,000 as part of €5 million funding by the European Union, within its call for starting communities of research infrastructures - facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to foster innovation - and aims to devote considerable resources to science outreach, educating the next generation of researchers, and to bring coherence to this research field.

BRIDGCE UK members will lead the part of the project that will provide the nuclear astrophysics community with stellar nucleosynthesis software tools and user-friendly support to use these tools within a High-Performance Computing (HPC) framework. HPC will be used for example to study the interplay between nuclear reactions and turbulence inside stars.

They will also contribute to the development of masterclasses in nuclear astrophysics for high school students.

The network will create new opportunities for research in nuclear astrophysics by encouraging smaller EU countries with no established nuclear astrophysics groups to engage in research, by granting them access to a diverse set of research infrastructures from telescopes obtaining stellar spectra, to laboratories studying element production, to supercomputers needed to model these processes.

The network is led by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Research laboratory in Germany and involves 13 small to medium-size research infrastructures embedded in 32 beneficiary institutions across Europe.