Researchers from Notre Dame, South Dakota School of Mines and Colorado School of Mines are going deep underground to study the processes in stars that produce half of all the elements in the universe. Although researchers understand the recipe of how stars work, they can’t reproduce that recipe exactly in a computer model.
CASPAR (Compact Accelerator System for Performing Astrophysical Research) is a low-energy particle accelerator that will allow researchers to mimic nuclear fusion reactions in stars. It is called a compact system because it is a very small accelerator.
Used above ground at Notre Dame for 10 years, the accelerator was renovated for use at Sanford Lab. The experiment is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.