UK Network for Bridging Disciplines of Galactic Chemical Evolution (BRIDGCE)

  • Rauscher, Thomas (CoI)

Project: Other

Project Details


The goal of this network is to facilitate collaborations across the different disciplines involved in the study of the origin of the elements.

Layman's description

In order to answer questions like: "Where were the elements we are made of created? How different were the first stars compared to nearby stars?Which nuclear reaction rates affect stellar model predictions and thus need to be (re-)measured and with which precision? How efficiently are chemical elements mixed in the interstellar medium? What are the building blocks of our galaxy?", knowledge in various disciplines of astrophysics and nuclear physics is necessary. Indeed, nuclear data (nuclear reaction rates in particular) are a key input for stellar evolution models since nuclear reactions provide the energy that powers stars, thus they determine their lifetimes, and the composition of their final ejecta. Stars, in turn, provide crucial radiative, kinetic, and chemical feedback into the galaxies they belong to through the light they shine, their strong winds and powerful supernova explosions and the multitudes of chemical elements they produce. Stellar evolution model outputs, in turn, therefore are key ingredients for galactic chemical models of galaxies. These models follow successive episodes of star formation and trace the history of the enrichment of chemical elements in various galaxies. The model predictions can then be compared to observations of stars that carry the chemical fingerprints of the cumulative chemical enrichment that preceded their birth. Comparison to observations can thus constrain both the galactic and stellar evolution models and tell us what aspects of the models need to be improved. Stellar evolution models can also be used as virtual nuclear physics laboratories in which we can test the impact of uncertainties in certain nuclear reaction rates.
Despite the fact that there are many experts in the UK trying to answer these questions (see flowchart above) research and collaboration across different disciplines of physics is difficult because of the separate funding agencies and the lack of efficient knowledge transfer mechanisms between different disciplines (in particular between nuclear and astrophysics). The BRIDGCE UK network was set-up to remedy to this important problem.
Effective start/end date1/01/14 → …


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