I am an assistant professor at the Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame. My research focuses on nuclear astrophysics, in particular processes leading to production of proton-rich heavy nuclei. Such elements are not synthesized during the stellar burning processes, but are created during explosive events such as supernovae explosions or x-ray bursts. I use various experimental techniques to measure in the laboratory the cross sections for reactions that occur in the stellar environments where the heavy-element nucleosynthesis takes place. I also utilize experimental techniques to extract level density and gamma-strenght functions, one of the main inputs for statistical model calculations. Such models can be then used to estimate the cross sections for reactions that cannot be measured in a lab.
The measured reaction rates I implement in the post-processing network code that calculates the production of the heavy nuclei in various stellar scenarios. Such results can be compared with the solar abundances of the nuclei and help us understand the origin of these elements.
I received my Ph.D. in physics from Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, where I investigated atomic processes in ion-atom collisions. My Ph.D. thesis was dedicated to correlated radiative double electron capture, and I performed the dissertation experiment at Western Michigan University. To date, I continue the investigation of the correlated electron capture processes in collaboration with WMU exploring various conditions in which the correlated electron capture process might be present.