Research NewsNuclear Physics

Flood of New Isotopes Offers Keys to Stellar Evolution

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Science  26 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5274, pp. 433
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5274.433


Omiya, Japan—A heavy-ion accelerator laboratory in Darmstadt, Germany, is renowned for giving researchers the tools needed to create the six heaviest elements on the periodic table. But the facility is also helping scientists to fill gaps, at an unprecedented rate, in another important atomic listing—a chart of unstable isotopes. The new knowledge, including the mass and lifetimes of those isotopes, is expected to help scientists hone theories about how supernova produce heavy elements and distribute them throughout the universe.