New Discoveries in Stars and Stellar Evolution through Advances in Laboratory Astrophysics

Brickhouse, Nancy; Cowan, John; Drake, Paul; Federman, Steven; Ferland, Gary; Frank, Adam; Herbst, Eric; Olive, Keith; Salama, Farid; Savin, Daniel Wolf; Ziurys, Lucy

As the Stars and Stellar Evolution (SSE) panel is fully aware, the next decade will see major advances in our understanding of these areas of research. To quote from their charge, these advances will occur in studies of the Sun as a star, stellar astrophysics, the structure and evolution of single and multiple stars, compact objects, SNe, gamma-ray bursts, solar neutrinos, and extreme physics on stellar scales. Central to the progress in these areas are the corresponding advances in laboratory astrophysics, required to fully realize the SSE scientific opportunities within the decade 2010-2020. Laboratory astrophysics comprises both theoretical and experimental studies of the underlying physics that produces the observed astrophysical processes. The 6 areas of laboratory astrophysics, which we have identified as relevant to the CFP panel, are atomic, molecular, solid matter, plasma, nuclear physics, and particle physics. In this white paper, we describe in Section 2 the scientific context and some of the new scientific opportunities and compelling scientific themes which will be enabled by advances in laboratory astrophysics. In Section 3, we discuss some of the experimental and theoretical advances in laboratory astrophysics required to realize the SSE scientific opportunities of the next decade. As requested in the Call for White Papers, Section 4 presents four central questions and one area with unusual discovery potential. Lastly, we give a short postlude in Section 5.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Astrophysics Laboratory
Published Here
May 5, 2017


White paper submitted by the AAS Working Group on Laboratory Astrophysics (WGLA) to the Stars and Stellar Evolution (SSE) Science Frontiers Panel (SFP) of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2010)