Seminar: The early universe – Well… At least for nuclear physicists… (Steffen Turkat)

15:00 - 16:00
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Physik, Willkommen

The scientifically most precisely investigated second during the entire life span of our universe is undoubtedly its very first one. While also the majority of you at IKTP is certainly defining the first fraction of the first second as “the early universe”, we will skip this part almost entirely. This is due to the fact that, in terms of nuclear physics, the universe starts to get exciting right after this very first second. So while all particle physicists of you might just call this era 'the morning after', we will discuss this “still comparatively early universe” from a nuclear perspective.

Hence, in this seminar we will dive into the first minutes of the universe and discuss the so-called Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, which is a unique period in time: The universe after approximately t=1s already cooled down sufficiently to allow protons and neutrons to condensate out of the quark-gluon plasma. However, it was still hot enough in order to allow nuclei to overcome each other’s Coulomb barrier. Investigating this era, i.e. the subsequently occurring nuclear fusion processes is providing a main pillar in our understanding of the elemental abundance in the universe. We will explore this crucial era in more depth, discuss its impact for the upcoming 13.8 billion years and also talk about the deuterium bottle neck and the baryon-to-photon ratio, which are pivotal for several astrophysical fields. However, we will also focus on experimental results achieved by us here in Dresden in order to draw a picture of what we currently have: A rather precise, but not yet perfectly understood picture of the chemical evolution of the universe. As a result, we will also discuss what is currently still limiting our knowledge and also have a look into the “future” of this field.

So stay tuned even as a particle physicist, because: Even in the universe, the best stories sometimes happen way after the party for the majority of people already ended :)


Letztmalig verändert: 14.07.2024, 07:37:59


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