Hendrik Schatz
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University
Cosmic Fireworks and Radioactive Beams

Stellar explosions such as Supernovae, Novae, and X-ray bursts are unique laboratories for physics under extreme conditions and are closely linked to the fundamental question of the origin of the elements. The nuclear processes that govern these explosions involve highly unstable nuclei. These nuclei with lifetimes as low as milliseconds nevertheless imprint their properties onto the observables of the explosive event and on the abundance distribution of the freshly synthesized elements.

With the advent of a new generation of radioactive beam facilities and the next generation of facilities in the planning stage many of the unstable nuclei created and destroyed in stellar explosions can be studied experimentally. Together with advances in astronomy and theory we are now at a threshold for a new understanding of the nuclear processes in stellar explosions.

I will discuss the close relation between the properties of nuclei far from stability and some of the currenttly open questions in nuclear astrophysics. This discussions will be ased on our latest calculations on the nuclear processes in supernovae and on the surface of accreting neutron stars. I will review our current knowledge of the underlying nuclear physics, and the prospects of advances using present and future radioactive beam facilities. Recent experimental data from experiments at the NSCL Coupled Cyclotron Facility will be presented.