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Public Outreach


Dr. Karlheinz Langanke

Scientific director
Institute for nuclear physics
Technical university Darmstadt, Germany


Where in the Universe are gold and platinum being made? How does a supernova explode? How does matter look inside a neutron star? These are fundamental questions in current astrophysics. In all of them nuclei and their properties play crucial roles in these fundamental questions. But the exotic nuclei  that are produced in the extreme conditions in astrophysical objects, have to be produced artifically on Earth. For many such nuclei this will be possible for the first time at FAIR, the Facility of Antiproton and Ion Research, currently under construction in Darmstadt, Germany.

This talk will discuss how scientists produce short-lived nuclei and matter as dense as inside neutron stars and how they will be able to measure the nuclear properties. In this way researchers bring the Universe into the laboratory in order to lift some of its secrets.


Karlheinz Langanke is the Scientific Managing Director of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany and full professor at the Technische Universitaet Darmstadt.

His research expertise is in nuclear structure and reaction theory as well as in nuclear astrophysics. For his work on nuclear astrophysics he has been awarded the 2012 Lise-Meitner Prize of the European Physical Society. In 2015 Langanke has been honored with the Benjamin Lee Distinguished Professorship  of the Asian Pacific for Theoretical Physics.