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ERC Synergy Grant "HEAVYMETAL"

Dr Stuart Sim from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), a member of the BRIDGECE steering committee has been awarded funding as part of the 11M Euro European Research Council Synergy Grant “HEAVYMETAL”.
ERC Synergy Grant "HEAVYMETAL"

Artist’s impression of the merger of two neutron stars


HEAVYMETAL is a multi-institution research project that will bring together experts in astronomical observation, experimental plasma spectroscopy, and numerical simulations to study mergers of neutron stars, with a key aim of understanding how nucleosynthesis of the heaviest chemical elements take place in the immediate aftermath of these events.

Prof Darach Watson (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) has already played a key role in the interpretation of existing kilonova spectra, and will be leading observational work in HEAVYMETAL from Copenhagen. Dr Andreas Bauswein will lead the development of simulations of merger dynamics, and associated nucleosynthesis calculations in HEAVYMETAL at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Germany). Prof Padraig Dunne at University College Dublin (Ireland) is an expert in plasma spectroscopy who will lead experimental work to study the spectra of heavy ions, providing the atomic physics measurements needed to identify these elements in astrophysical spectra. At Queen’s University Belfast, Dr Sim will be performing numerical radiative transfer calculations, working closely with his QUB colleagues, Dr Catherine Ramsbottom and Dr Connor Ballance, who are leaders in the theoretical calculation of the atomic data needed for modelling spectra of heavy elements.

Image Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick/ESO

Image Caption: Artist’s impression of the merger of two neutron stars

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