Statement on the Hamas Attack on Israel

The ChETEC-INFRA community strongly denounces the heinous, terrorist assault that was launched against Israel on October 7, 2023. The scientific community in the field of nuclear astrophysics in Europe expresses its solidarity with the Israeli people, particularly the scientists and their families who have been impacted, and especially to our ChETEC-INFRA partners at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Terror goes against the core values of ChETEC-INFRA and of the scientists in its community. We oppose violence against civilians regardless of nationality and hope that peace in the region can be reestablished. As scientists we believe that political differences should be resolved peacefully.

Update of NetGen Now Online

The nuclear NETwork GENerator NetGen is an interactive, web-based tool to help astrophysicists in building up a nuclear reaction network as defined by each user. It generates tables of the necessary nuclear reaction rates on a temperature grid specified by the user, and provides the references of the sources of these rates. All reaction rates, theoretical or experiment-based, include the contribution of thermally populated excited target states through the calculation of the stellar enhancement factor. NetGen includes about 8330 nuclides located between the neutron and proton driplines in the 1 ≤ Z ≤ 110 range.

In the latest version, NetGen include 90 new experimental reaction rates and the possibility to use the ASTRAL database for neutron-capture reactions.  alpha-decay, beta-decay and spontaneous fission rates have been updated with Nubase2020 (Kondev et al. 2021). The mass models have been updated to the experimental + recommended masses from the atomic mass evaluation AME’20 (Huang et al. 2021).

Finally, the website has been redesigned and additional functionalities have been added: possibility to plot individual rates, explore all the references available in NetGen for individual rates, interactive reaction choices, and other parameters.

Call for Transnational Access Proposals: Visitor and Service Mode at Facilities

ChETEC-INFRA’s Transnational Access program offers access to 13 facilities in the field of nuclear astrophysics, spanning from accelerator laboratories for accelerator mass spectrometry (at DREAMS and VERA), accelerator facilities for ion beam experiments (Felsenkeller Accelerator Laboratory, Tandem Accelerator at the University of Cologne, Cyclotron at Atomki, van-de-Graaff accelerator at the University of Frankfurt, Tandetron accelerator at IFIN-HH, and the PTB Ion Accelerator Facility), a high-performance computing cluster (Viper) and optical telescopes (Nordic Optical Telescope, Rozhen National Astronomical Observatory, Perek 2-m Telescope at the Ondřejov observatory, Molėtai Astronomical Observatory).

While some facilities mainly offer access in visitor mode (users traveling to the facility to conduct their research, with financial support available for their travel), and others focus on service mode access (work on site at the facility performed by local staff in coordination with the users), various facilities are available to offer access in ways most suitable for the science case at hand.

As an example we would like to emphasize the case of the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), which apart from regular visitor mode also offers (queue) service mode observing and provides a wide range of options for flexible scheduling through Target-of-Opportunity programs and/or monitoring programs on any time-scale (from hours to years).

Exterior view of the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT).
The Nordic Optical Telescope. (Credit: public domain / Bob Tubbs)

Transnational Access proposals in ChETEC-INFRA are collected every three months. The current call for proposals is open until November 17, 2023.

Interested in which facility and mode of access may be most suitable for your nuclear astrophysics science case? Please do not hesitate to reach out to the contacts at the individual facilities or to the ChETEC-INFRA TA Management team via e-mail or through the weekly office hours.

High School Students Visit Camp on Astrophysics at TU Dresden

24 students from schools of the national Excellence School Network MINT-EC conducted research on astrophysics at the TUD Dresden University of Technology from October 23 to 26, 2023. For four days, they worked together with scientists from the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics of TU Dresden and from the DeltaX School Lab at the Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) on the physics of stars. During the camp, participants experienced how new scientific insights into the origin and development of the fascinating celestial bodies made of gas and plasma are gained in the laboratory or at the telescope.

(Copyright: TU Dresden, Schulkontaktstelle)

The participants of the camp visited the Dresden underground laboratory “Felsenkeller” and learned how accelerators are used to investigate what happens inside stars. In the ChETEC-INFRA Masterclass on Astrophysics, led by Hannes Nitsche, a PhD students from TUD, they were introduced to nuclear reactions, their connection with the evolution of stars and the formation and abundance of chemical elements. By using a Stellar Analysis Pipeline tool called webSME, students analyzed spectra from stars, determined stellar parameter and measured elemental abundances.

(Copyright: TU Dresden, Schulkontaktstelle)

In the DeltaX School Laboratory, students were able to conduct experiments on light absorption and emission. They also visited the Dresden-Gönnsdorf observatory. The camp concluded with presentations from high school students with results of their gained knowledge and own analysis work.

(Copyright: TU Dresden, Schulkontaktstelle)

The participants of the Camp on Astrophysics were selected from 120 applications from all over the world. They traveled from far away for the camp and took many hours of train ride. Two young people from the German School Istanbul came to Dresden accompanied by their teacher to participate in the astrophysics camp. There was also a student from the German International School Washington, who is very interested in astrophysics and therefore chose this camp out of the many exciting camps all over Germany.

(Copyright: TU Dresden, Schulkontaktstelle)

The MINT-EC Camp was funded by ChETEC-INFRA.

Press Release TU Dresden (in German)

Transnational Access to 13 Facilities: Next call closing November 17, 2023

The Transnational Access program of ChETEC-INFRA supports access to 13 European infrastructures for nuclear astrophysics studies. Facilities include observatories, ion-beam accelerator laboratories, and a high-performance computing cluster.

Access can be provided in different ways, depending on the facility, either in service-mode, or hands-on. Facility access is provided free of charge to the user, and awarded based solely on scientific merit of the proposal. Scientists with affiliations from any other country than the country of the facility are eligible to submit proposals.

The next collection date for proposals is November 17, 2023. The following call will be open until February 2024.

More information on Transnational Access, contact information and the link for the weekly open “office hours” on Zoom can be found on this page.

ChETEC-INFRA Observational School (ChINOS) Concluded Successfully

The first edition of the ChETEC-INFRA Observational School (ChINOS 2023) was held at the Ondřejov Observatory near Prague in the Czech Republic.

Participants of the school followed a program of lectures, scientific discussions and hands-on activities.

As a special opportunity, the hands-on experience included three nights of remote observations at the Nordic Optical Telescope.

Favorable weather conditions in La Palma allowed for successful observations in all three nights, providing data on different stellar objects for the participants. The workshop concluded with students presenting the results of their own analysis work.

The Organizing Committee of the school thanks all lecturers for their engaging and active lessons and activities for the students. The school was made possible thanks to financial support by ChETEC-INFRA.

The Ondřejov Observatory, the Nordic Optical Telescope, as well as the Rozhen Observatory and the Molėtai Observatory also offer observation time for scientific projects supported through ChETEC-INFRA’s Transnational Access program.

Nuclear Astrophysics Masterclass Aboard the “MS Wissenschaft”

The MS Wissenschaft, an initiative by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research describes itself as “a floating science center with exhibits for testing and participation”. At anchor in Vienna, the ship offered a unique environment for more than 100 high school students to follow the ChETEC-INFRA Masterclass on astrophysics.

Led by Stephanie Adler and Alexander Wieser, two PhD students from the VERA accelerator laboratory at the University of Vienna, the high school students discovered how the chemical elements that surround us are created in the Universe, and how scientists seek a better understanding of these processes with the help of experiments in ion beam accelerator laboratories on Earth.

The masterclass “A Journey through the Elements” is designed for students age 15 and up, and provided free of charge to the hosting schools. Class materials are available in various languages, further information and contact information for booking inquiries can be found on the Masterclass web page.

Carpathian Summer School of Physics 2023 in Sinaia

The Carpathian Summer School of Physics (CSSP), is a traditional scientific event, with wide international participation, organized by the Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering for over 50 years. The 2023 edition of the school, held from July 2 to 15, marked the 30th edition of the school in Sinaia, Romania. The subject of the school followed the title “Exotic nuclei and nuclear and particle astrophysics (IX). Physics with small accelerators” for the 9th time since its foundation in 2005, organized by a team of Romanian and American researchers.

CSSP is part of several European networks and projects, including ENNAS (European Network of Nuclear Astrophysics School), ChETEC-INFRA, and EURO-LABs.

The conference participants, researchers, teachers and students from 4 continents, discussed and debated the latest news in scientific fields that seek to understand and explain the entire Universe starting from observations, experiments and theories from terrestrial laboratories: energy sources and the formation of chemical elements in the Universe in past, current and future processes, the structure of radioactive nuclei far from the stability line, the inventory and sources of cosmic radiation, as well as the use of knowledge and nuclear installations in applications. Both methods, experiments, and large nuclear physics installations in the world will be presented.

A total number of 65 participants attended 50 hours of lectures. With a focus on students and young researchers in the addressed fields, a number of early career lecturers were selected, and 12 communications where presented by students.

CSSP23 placed great emphasis on the direct interaction between generations of researchers, and young scientists in their training. A designated as Outreach Day consisted of a session with lessons aimed at a wider audience, and a round table discussion with the theme “Science in times of crisis”. Besides the school participants, MCID officials, politicians, and media, participated.

The current organizers express their hope that the CSSP tradition will last for decades to come

Transnational Access Proposal Collection Date on August 17

ChETEC-INFRA’s Transnational Access Program provides access to 13 infrastructures – telescopes, accelerator laboratories and an HPC cluster – for research in nuclear astrophysics. Access is free of charge to the user and the program is open to proposers from institutions in and outside of Europe.

The next collection date for scientific proposals closes August 17,

Questions on the program? Details on the program and contact information are available here. Assistance is available by e-mail or during the weekly online “office hours” on Zoom – no registration required.

New Part of Course on Galactic Chemical Evolution Available

A new part of the course on Galactic Chemical Evolution is available now. This second part follows up on the use of NuPyCEE and JINAPyCEE for two applications: constraining galaxy models, and identifying trends in chemical evolution to tune model parameters relative to observations. The video presents the interactive Jupyter notebooks, which allow to follow the course hands-on. The feedback form on the course page allows to leave comments and suggestions for the authors of the course