In research area B, we will investigate consistent electroweak interactions in nuclei and with nuclear matter in astrophysical environments based on chiral EFT. In the second funding period, we will expand our efforts to explore the nuclear physics involved in neutron star mergers and the associated kilonovas and gravitational wave signals. Research area B will address the central questions:
How do electroweak interactions couple to nuclei?
How do nuclei, neutrinos, and the equation of state impact supernovae and neutron star mergers?
The projects are structured along the nuclear chart, where projects B01, B02, B04 focus on electroweak interactions, and B05, B06, B07 on nuclear astrophysics. Answering the key questions involves understanding the role of two-body currents for electroweak transitions and testing these with electron scattering. We will use electromagnetic probes to explore forbidden transitions and to probe the nuclear structure involved in neutrino-nucleus scattering. A particular focus will be on the dipole response and novel measurements of photoabsorption of nuclei, which constrains the neutron equation of state. The electroweak reactions, combined with novel calculations of the nuclear matter equation of state from low to high densities and finite temperature, will provide a systematic basis to study the nucleosynthesis in core-collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers.