Irene Tamborra is awarded Sapere Aude Starting Grant – University of Copenhagen

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21 January 2019

Irene Tamborra is awarded Sapere Aude Starting Grant

Irene Tamborra, Knud Højgaard Associate Professor and leader of the NBIA AstroNu group, has received a Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Irene's research project, "Compact Astrophysical Objects and Neutrinos," aims to unveil the secrets behind extreme cosmic fireworks in our Universe by means of neutrinos.

Among the most extreme events in our Universe, are the deaths of massive stars in violent supernova explosions. Others arise when two relatively close stars die and leave two neutron stars or a neutron star and a black hole. When orbiting each other, the two compact objects can give rise to a binary merger. The mechanism behind those cosmic fireworks is full of mysteries, but compact sources are considered to be the main factories of the elements heavier than helium and very likely heavier than iron. Neutrinos play a fundamental but yet to be fully unraveled role in the dynamics of compact sources.

Irene's project will shed light on the role of neutrinos in the mechanism of compact sources. This is an uncharted territory that requires interdisciplinary work at the interface of astrophysics, particle physics, and nuclear physics. The ultimate goal will be to address some of the most fundamental questions on the mechanism behind compact objects, the impact of neutrinos, and their flavor conversions in the dynamics of compact sources and in the synthesis of new elements.

The grant will allow the hiring of two postdocs and one Ph.D. student who will join Irene Tamborra's group in 2019.