Stellar evolution

Stars below around 7 solar masses play an important role in the chemical enrichment of the Universe. In the final stage of their lives, their unstable double-shell burning structure opens up a host of nucleosynthetic pathways leading to the production of elements like carbon, nitrogen, fluorine, sodium and magnesium. They are also able to produce heavy elements like barium and lead through neutron captures.

The group studies the evolution of these stars and how they produce their isotopes through the use of the STARS stellar evolution code. Mixing processes within these stars are also studied with 3D hydrodynamic simulations. Ultimately, we wish to understand the impact that low-mass stars have had on the Universe, from the earliest stellar generations through to the fate of our own Sun.