Université de Strasbourg

Inaugural lecture Marguerite Perey Chair - From nuclei to stars

November 16, 2023
From 15:15 until 16:45
Salle de conférence, ISIS, Strasbourg

This lecture is the inaugural lecture of the Marguerite Perey Chair at USIAS. It is intended for a broad audience, who will be invited to learn about the subject from a pioneering researcher working at the foreront of research. The lecture will be held in French.



15:15 Presentation of 2023 Fellows and new Chairs - Thomas Ebbesen, ISIS, Director of USIAS
15:25 Introduction - Rémi Barillon, Vice-president of Research, Doctoral Training and Open Science, University of Strasbourg
15:35 Inaugural lecture - Sandrine Courtin, Professor of Nuclear Physics at the University of Strasbourg, Director of the Hubert Curien Pluridisciplinary Institute, USIAS Marguerite Perey Chair 2023-2025
16:20  Discussion

Nucleosynthesis of chemical elements in the Universe: a plunge into the burning heart of massive stars

Cassiopeia A layersWhile astronomy, which observes and studies celestial objects, is one of the oldest sciences, dating back to Antiquity or even Prehistory, the study of the interior of stars and the synthesis of chemical elements is more recent and closely linked to our knowledge of nuclear reactions at stellar energies.

Professor Courtin will outline the history of the discovery of the synthesis of chemical elements, and therefore of observable matter, in the Universe, and discuss in particular the production and combustion of carbon and oxygen, which are necessary for the birth of life as we know it.

She will talk about the connection between the synthesis reactions of the elements and the laws of symmetry in physics, nuclear structure and quantum mechanics. The lecture will conclude with information on how to build an experiment to explore the heart of stars, on Earth, from the laboratory.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

The Marguerite Perey Chair

The Marguerite Perey Chair in the natural sciences is named in honour of Marguerite Perey (1909-1975), a French physicist who is recognised for her discovery of the element francium. In her early career, she was mentored by Marie Curie and subsequently studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She was made head of department of nuclear chemistry at the University of Strasbourg in 1949 and was the first woman to be elected at the French Academy of Sciences in 1962.

France 2030