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Shawn Bishop Appointed New Professor for Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics

The Excellence Cluster Universe is pleased to announce the appointment of Shawn Bishop as professor for Nuclear Astrophysics. In this position, Shawn Bishop will be involved in both research activities of the TUM Physics Department and the Universe Cluster. 
His group will enhance the Tandem facility in the Maier-Leibnitz-Laboratory by building at least three new experimental facilities. Two of these experiments will be dedicated to nuclear astrophysics studies of the rp-process in supernovae and X-ray bursts, and proton-capture rates important for novae nucleosynthesis. Explains Bishop: “The lifetimes of excited nuclear states are critical ingredients for astrophysical reaction rates. We will measure them employing the Tandem accelerator after having installed a new Doppler Shift lifetime station.” 

Additionally, the gamma and/or alpha decay branching ratios of these same excited states are also required for reaction rate determinations. These, too, will be measured here in a second facility employing the high resolution Q3D momentum spectrometer in combination with a specially designed target and silicon detector array system. The third facility will focus on development of novel cryogenic detectors, eventually to be employed in charged particle detection for low energy nuclear astrophysics beam experiments. 

Moreover, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) facility at TUM provides a doorway into the cosmic past, allowing for the measurement of long-lived radioactive nuclides forged in the violent deaths of stars and in the violent outbursts of our own Sun during its initial "growing pains" as a proto-star. Already, this facility has shown that our Earth has been directly exposed to the ejecta of a past supernova event, through the finding of 60-Iron in deep ocean sediments. This facility will be further exploited to unlock the secrets of our "local" cosmic neighbourhood's past.

Shawn Bishop was born and raised in Canada. He finished his study in the department of Physics, Simon Fraser University, with a PhD work on the measurement of the astrophysical 21Na(p,g)22Mg reaction. Prior to his arrival at TUM and the Universe Cluster, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Nishina Center Radioactive Ion Beam Factory, in Japan. 

“I am thrilled to be here at TUM”, says Bishop – with a clearly set focus for the future: “I look forward to teaching and becoming involved in making the local lab a center for nuclear astrophysics research!”

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

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