Andrea Trabattoni became Helmholtz Young Investigator

Our team leader Andrea Trabattoni was awarded the Helmholtz Young Investigator Groups Program. Andrea will create a new team within our group and study the photo-induced electron dynamics involved in nuclear transitions.

DESY researcher Andrea Trabattoni has successfully applied for a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group on laser-matter interactions. Andrea will receive an annual grant of 300 000 Euros for six years, half of which will be funded by the Helmholtz Association and half by DESY. Within our group, Andrea and his new team will investigate the photo-induced dynamics of electrons during processes in the atomic nucleus.

Laser-matter interactions offer a plethora of possibilities to understand and manipulate matter with help of light. One of the ultimate aims is to include light-nucleus interactions in these studies and to use lasers to interact directly with the nucleus. The surrounding electrons play a crucial role in many light-induced nuclear transitions. For example, 7-Beryllium, that is an indicator of solar activity, decays by capturing an electron into the nucleus. The same occurs for several medical isotopes. Other nuclei, instead, decay by exciting electronic states or inducing ionisation. Laser light can be used to initiate, observe in real time, and potentially control these electro-nucleus energy transfers.

The new Helmholtz Young Investigator Group will establish time-resolved spectroscopy of photo-induced electron dynamics in the study of nuclear transitions. This mission will be ultimately accomplished by employing cutting-edge free-electron lasers to trigger and control electron motions associated with nuclear excitations. A deep understanding of such processes is likely to have a huge impact on a large range of disciplines. For example, in future it might be possible to employ laser-induced electron dynamics to accelerate the production of medical isotopes or to affect the natural decay of radioactive nuclei, with immense benefit for medical and environmental sciences.

Andrea is currently looking for highly motivated and talented persons to join his new team. He offers PhD positions and welcomes applications for postdoctoral fellowships.

This news has been highlighted on the website of DESY.