Interview: new carbon creation rates set to rock astrophysics models

Researchers discuss landmark measurement

Hear from our nuclear physics researchers about the surprising new measurement of how quickly stars create carbon.

Measurements in the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility are set to trigger a major shift in our understanding of how stars evolve and die, how the elements are created, and even the origin and abundance of the building blocks of life.

Physicists at the Australian National University and the University of Oslo reproduced how stars make carbon through a fleeting partnership of helium atoms known as the Hoyle state in three separate measurements. They found that carbon – the building block of life – is produced 34 percent faster than previously thought.