Department of Energy

Award Date: September 2010


The DOE has committed $99,000 over 3 years to support Dr. Surman's continued research through her project “Neutrinos and Nucleosynthesis in Gamma Ray Bursts.”  This research has been sponsored by DOE since 2005, signifying the value DOE’s Nuclear Theory program sees in Surman's efforts to advance this area of investigation.  The project involves Union undergraduates who will work through the summer months as research assistants – providing them the opportunity to participate in hands-on research activities in meaningful ways.


A gamma-ray burst is an extreme astrophysical event whose energetics are likely driven by an accretion disk around a black hole, formed by the collapse of a massive star or the collision of compact binaries. Here we are interested in what types of elements form in outflows from such disks. This proposal describes a careful study to address this question, in which we will incorporate the latest  accretion disk models and implement a fully self-consistent treatment of the neutrino physics throughout. We will focus on the contribution of these outflows to the galactic nucleosynthesis of rare nuclear species.