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JINA-CEE Science

JINA-CEE addresses open questions at the intersection of astrophysics and nuclear physics. The focus is on two broad topical areas that constitute the two major activity areas of JINA-CEE and have been propelled to the forefront of the field by new observations, opportunities at new accelerator facilities, and new theoretical developments:

Major Activity 1 (MA1):
When tracing our origins from the Big Bang, the transition from a three element (H, He, Li) Universe, with a small number of isotopes, to a chemically diverse cosmos containing 82 long-lived elements with hundreds of isotopes, stands out in significance. One new goal of JINA-CEE is to explore the open questions surrounding this transition, including "What are the nuclear reactions and stellar environments producing the isotopes in the first billion years?," "What are their individual contributions?," and "How do these nuclear and astrophysical processes interact and evolve as the abundance levels increase?"

Major Activity 2 (MA2): Neutron star matter plays an important role for the origin of the elements, as it shapes the synthesis of many of the heavy elements in nature produced in in core-collapse supernovae and in neutron star mergers. JINA-CEE research in MA2 uses accreting and merging neutron stars as probes of dense nuclear matter. This directly addresses an additional set of key questions in the field: "What is the equation of state of dense neutron-rich matter?," "What are the extreme nuclear and weak processes that shape neutron star observations?," "What are the observational signatures of novel phases of nuclear matter?," and "What are the gravitational wave signatures of merging neutron stars?"

These two areas are closely connected. Dense matter properties and neutron stars play a critical role in a variety of important element creating processes, such as supernova explosions and neutron star mergers. Both areas require similar detailed information on stable and unstable nuclei, such as the rates of fusion reactions, the rates of neutron induced reactions on unstable nuclei, and various weak interaction processes.

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