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posted: 9/5/2012 9:27 AM

NSF awards $1.6 million to Notre Dame physicists

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Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The National Science Foundation has awarded nuclear physicists at the University of Notre Dame a one-year, $1.6 million grant for continuing research and development of the first U.S.-based underground accelerator laboratory.

The purpose of the Dual Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics is to study in the laboratory nuclear reactions that drive the burning of stars. The site of the accelerator has not yet been determined. Other participating institutions are Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, The Colorado School of Mines, Michigan State University, the University of North Carolina and Western Michigan University.

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Michael Wiescher, director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics and principal investigator, said the study will simulate conditions in the center of the sun and help scientists understand the evolution and lifetime of stars.

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