Prof. Jordi José
Department of Physics, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Barcelona
Abstract: At the turn of the 21st Century, new tools and developments, at the crossroads of theoretical and computational astrophysics, observational astronomy, cosmochemistry, and nuclear physics, have revolutionized our understanding of the physics of stellar explosions. The use of space-borne observatories has opened new windows to study the cosmos through multifrequency observations. In parallel to the elemental stellar abundances inferred spectroscopically, cosmochemists are now providing isotopic abundance ratios from micron-sized presolar grains extracted from meteorites. Encapsulated in those grains is pristine information about the suite of nuclear processes that took place in their stellar progenitors. The dawn of supercomputing has also provided astrophysicists withe appropriate tools to study complex physical phenomena that require a multidimensional approach. Last but not least, nuclear physicists have developed new techniques to determine nuclear interactions close to stellar energies. In this talk, a number of breakthroughs from all these different disciplines will be presented, with emphasis on the physical mechanisms that operate during nova explosions.