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Neutrinos and Nuclear Astrophysics

Program Head: Alan Poon

The areas of research at the Institute (INPA) are broad and have a strong interdisciplinary flavor, yet a common purpose connects them - to use the science and the technologies of nuclear physics and particle physics to address fundamental questions bearing on the nature of the universe: past, present, and future. Specific research topics include solar neutrinos, high energy neutrinos, detection of nearby and distant supernovae, the cosmic microwave background radiation, double beta decay, the theory of pulsars and neutron stars, and geoastrophysics. Research and education are combined not only through the participation of students and postdoctoral researchers, but also at the high school level through summer programs for teachers and a major project, the Hands-On Universe, which brings on-line astronomical images to the classroom.

INPA is sponsored by the Nuclear Science Division and the Physics Division at LBNL. While participants in INPA are predominantly from these two Divisions, the Physics Department and the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley are also represented. Indeed, the Institute benefits from the rich concentration of astrophysics in the greater Bay Area. A wide range of experimental facilities is used by INPA participants: at LBNL (the 88-Inch Cyclotron, Gammasphere, Low-Background Counting Facility, Leuschner Observatory); in North America (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, the Keck Telescopes, nuclear physics facilities at national laboratories and university laboratories); throughout the world - Japan (Kamioka), Italy (Gran Sasso), Chile, Antarctica, and in space (Hubble Space Telescope).