EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 163, 2017FUSION17
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||22 November 2017|
Nuclear Astrophysics in underground laboratories: the LUNA experiment
University and INFN of Padua, via Marzolo 8, 35131, Padua, Italy
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published online: 22 November 2017
One of the main ingredients of nuclear astrophysics is the knowledge of the thermonuclear reactions responsible for powering the stellar engine and for the synthesis of the chemical elements. At astrophysical energies the cross section of nuclear processes is extremely reduced by the effect of the Coulomb barrier. The low value of cross sections prevents their measurement at stellar energies on Earth surface and often extrapolations are needed. The Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics (LUNA) is placed under the Gran Sasso mountain and thanks to the cosmic-ray background reduction provided by its position can investigate cross sections at energies close to the Gamow peak in stellar scenarios. Many crucial reactions involved in hydrogen burning has been measured directly at astrophysical energies with both the LUNA-50kV and the LUNA-400kV accelerators, and this intense work will continue with the installation of a MV machine able to explore helium and carbon burnings. Based on this progress, currently there are efforts in several countries to construct new underground accelerators. In this talk, the typical techniques adopted in underground nuclear astrophysics will be described and the most relevant results achieved by LUNA will be reviewed. The exciting science that can be probed with the new facilities will be highlighted.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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