The origin of the heavy elements in our cosmos is a major challenge in modern physics. About half of the elemental abundances heavier than iron is produced during He burning phases in stars, by neutron capture reactions and subsequent beta decays. The abundances produced in this “slow neutron capture process“ strongly depend on neutron capture rates. We have a program of measurements of key neutron capture rates at the neutron time of flight facility n_TOF at CERN, allowing to measure neutron capture cross sections over the entire stellar energy range with high precision and accuracy. The project involves setup and running of the experiment, and analysis of the data. The results will be used in nucleosynthesis codes to study the impact on elemental abundances produced in this process.
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