Supernovae are fascinating objects in the universe. Their brilliant optical emission, powered by radioactive decay of Ni to Fe, is but a side show compared with their profuse neutrino emission, powered by formation of a proto-neutron star. They are also considered as the site for making neutron-rich elements heavier than Fe via rapid neutron capture, the r-process. I present a model of Fe and r-process production in supernovae that can explain data from studies of meteorites in the solar system, the oldest stars in the Galaxy, and proto-galaxies in the early universe. I propose that Fe and r-process production in supernovae is closely related to the stability of proto-neutron stars, which frequently turn into black holes. I also discuss the implications for properties of neutrinos, nuclei, and nuclear matter in connection with experiments on neutrino oscillations, nuclei far from stability, and relativistic heavy ion collisions.
ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule