Physics Questions


What are the Origins of the Elements?

  • How, and where, were the heavy elements synthesised?
  • What are the key reaction processes that drive explosive astrophysical events such as supernovae, and X-ray bursts?
  • What is the equation-of-state of compact matter in neutron stars?
  • What are the nuclear processes, and main astrophysical sites, that produce the γ-ray emitting radionuclides observed in our galaxy?
  • How do nuclear reactions influence the evolution of massive stars, and how do they contribute to observed elemental abundances?
What is the Nature of Nuclear Matter?
  • What are the limits of nuclear existence?
  • How do simple patterns emerge in complex nuclei?
  • Can nuclei be described in terms of our understanding of the underlying fundamental interactions?
  • What is the equation-of-state of nuclear matter?
  • How does the ordering of quantum states change in extremely unstable nuclei?
  • Are there new forms of structure and symmetry at the limits of nuclear existence?
How do the properties of hadrons and the quark-gluon plasma emerge from fundamental interactions?
  • What is the mechanism for confining quarks and gluons in strongly interacting particles (hadrons)?
  • What is the structure of the proton and neutron and how do hadrons get their mass and spin?
  • Can we understand the excitation spectra of hadrons from the quark-quark interaction?
  • Do exotic hadrons (multiquark states, hybrid mesons and glueballs) exist?
  • What are the phases of strongly interacting matter and what is the nature of the quark-gluon plasma?
  • How do nuclear forces arise from QCD?
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