Understanding the astrophysical sites for production of the heavy elements beyond Iron is a major open challenge in physics. About 50% of these elements are thought to be produced explosively in supernovae and/or neutron star mergers where a rapid series of neutron capture reactions can drive the path of nucleosynthesis very far from stability into previously uncharted regions. A knowledge of the properties and decay modes of these exotic nuclei is critical to tell us about the explosive environments in which these elements were formed. New experiments are being performed at the world-leading Radioactive Ion Beam Factory (RIBF) in Tokyo, and the GSI laboratory (Germany) to study these properties using the Advanced Implantation Detector System (AIDA) developed by the Edinburgh NP Group.
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