Research


This is what I do.

You are not in the universe, you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.
- Eckhart Tolle

Research FAQ

  • I've read that you study Nuclear Astrophysics. How is that possible? Nuclear Physics studies the nucleus and Astrophysics the stars, isn't it?

    That's correct, but the only place where atoms - and nuclei - can be synthesised are the very hot and dense astrophysical environments, such as the stars (e.g our Sun or Betelgeuse). You can think of stars as big elemental factories. All the different kinds of them, from the Carbon in your DNA, to the Calcium in your bones and the Silicon in your computer and cell phone chips, are created during the lives of the stars - yes, stars don't live forever, but their guts do. Our job is to find out the origin of these elements, that literally make up everything - and explain why some of them are more abundant than others in our Solar System.

  • Also I saw that you are an experimentalist, right? What kind of experiments do you do?

    We use particle accelerators to reproduce the nuclear reactions that happen in the fiery interiors of the stars. A typical Nuclear Astrophysics experiment includes an ion beam - usually a light particle beam, such as Hydrogen - that hits a solid (or gas) target of a heavier element. The reaction can be studied, either by detecting the reactants or by detecting the light they emit - a kind of light that can only be seen using γ-ray detectors - or both. By doing that we can calculate two important properties of the reaction: the reaction rate and the cross section. Those properties can tell us the probability of the particular reaction in an astrophysical environment. This is one way to uravel the mystery of the origin of the elements.

  • Are there any places in Canada where you can perform your experiments?

    Of course there are! For our most sophisticated experiments we use TRIUMF, which is Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics. Smaller scale experiments can be performed in other laboratories, such as the McMaster Accelerator Laboratory (MAL) with its 3MV van de Graaff accelerator.

  • How can I contact you for more information?

    You can check my Contact and I'll get back to you as soon as I can! 😀

For a more introductory overview of Nuclear Astrophysics you can watch this video: