Michael W. Hannawald

About me

Ph.D. University of Mainz, Germany , 2000

I received my Diploma in Physics in 1997 and my Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 2000 from the University of Mainz (Group of Prof. K-L Kratz). For my thesis I performed experiments at IGISOl (Jyväskylä) and CERN/ISOLDE (Geneva) to determine decay properties of neutron-rich Mn, Ag, and Cd isotopes (with the aid of the laser ion-source RILIS). The emphasis was put on the identification of new nuclei in the region of the subshell/shell closures N=40 and 82, on the one hand to gain understanding in nuclear structure and on the other hand to obtain the best possible data (and support for theoretical extrapolations) to be employed in astrophysical applications. The astrophysical r-process (rapid neutron capture) involves nuclei from the line of beta-stability to the neutron drip-line. Data around shell closures are especially important in order to understand the behavior of shell effects as a function of distance from stability.

Postdoc University of Mainz, 2000 - 2002

I was involved in collaboration with the European Southern Observatory in the project ”The First Stars and the Origin of the Elements”. The specific aim of this project was to measure, with unprecedented accuracy, the abundance distribution of key elements in representative sample of second-generation stars. First results let to a element-consistent picture of CS 22892-052, caused by improved nuclear-data input and new observations of 15 rare earth elements and of Os and Ir in the third r-abundance peak. We could obtain a new value for it’s age of 14.6 +/- 2.4 Gyr, what is a lower limit for the age of our galaxy, and it was possible to predict a 238U abundance of log ~ -2.5 +/- 0.1 for this star.

Postdoc Subaru Telescope, Hilo, Hawaii,  2003 - 2006

I continued working in the field of nuclear astrophysics and used SUBARU's High Resolution Spectrograph to obtain high resolution spectra of prospective r-process-enhanced metal-poor targets to shed light on a variety of question:
♦ What is the frequency of the enhancement phenomenon as a function of [Fe/H]?
♦ What is the distribution of the level of enhancement – e.g. is it bi-modal or continuous?
 ♦ With what precision is the solar r-process pattern reproduced from star to star?
♦ How common is the so-called “actinide boost” problem, where the measured abundance of Th appears up to 0.4 dex higher than predicted by theory ?
♦ Is there a type of incomplete r-process in some early progenitors, or was there a time delay before the major r-process sites could evolve?
♦ Why was the production of the lighter n-capture elements favored over the heavier such elements in some stars?
♦ At what metallicity and/or time did the first main r-process sites come into existence?
♦ What is (are) the astrophysical site(s) of the r-process ?

Research Engineer, CEA, Saclay, France 2007-2009

I worked in the EDELWEISS Project at CEA Saclay (France). The EDELWEISS experiment is dedicated to the direct detection of dark matter particles with bolometric detectors located at the underground laboratory of Modane (the LSM). The stage II of this experiment is currently running and taking data. Cryogenic Germanium-Detectors are employed at 17 mK while temperature and charge of the WIMP event are registered.

Postdoc University Hawaii, Honolulu, 2009 - 2010

ANITA-Projet @ UH

AMBER Experiment

Instructor of Physics, Kauai Community  College 2010 - current