The Felsenkeller underground laboratory for nuclear astrophysics includes a 5 MV Pelletron ion accelerator and Germany’s lowest background high-purity germanium detector setup for radioactivity measurements. The lab is jointly operated by HZDR and TU Dresden. Protected by its 45 m thick rock overburden, the Felsenkeller cosmic-ray muon flux is 40 times lower than at surface. The natural neutron background is 180 times lower, and the background in a gamma-ray detector with muon veto more than 1000 times lower than at surface. These characteristics place the laboratory in a league with deep underground accelerator labs worldwide and enable highly sensitive nuclear reaction experiments.
The scientific program specifically addresses solar fusion, cosmology, and nucleosynthesis in neutron star precursors. The talk will present new reaction data addressing deuterium and lithium from the Big Bang, and solar hydrogen burning.These science cases are highly topical and closely linked to efforts at GSI and FAIR.
In addition to in-house research by HZDR and TU Dresden, the lab is open as a facility for scientific users worldwide, with beam time applications reviewed by an independent science advisory board based on the scientific merits. In addition, EU-supported transnational access is available via the ChETEC-INFRA network of small and medium-scale European research infrastructures for nuclear astrophysics.