Observational stellar astronomy has developed very quickly over the last decade, thanks to increased quality and quantity of observations, and also to the generalization of observational techniques such as interferometry and asteroseismology. While stellar astronomy has entered this “precision era”, theoretical models lag behind in their development and are not able to provide answers to questions raised by the new generation of observations, e.g. the “solar abundance problem”, mixing processes in stellar interiors, abundance patterns in metal poor stars, transport of angular momentum in stars, fundamental parameters of low-mass stars to mention some. Furthermore, neutrino experiments (e.g. Borexino at Gran Sasso) and asteroseismology with the recently launched Kepler mission will soon provide new observational probes of stellar interiors. Improved and more precise theoretical stellar models are therefore of high priority for advancing our understanding of stellar astrophysics and influenced areas, from galactic chemical evolution to formation of planetary systems. We propose to develop a new generation of stellar models by improving both the physics in the models and the modeling techniques. The proposal focuses on three targets: solar structure, stellar structure and asteroseismology, and structure and nucleosynthesis of low- and intermediate-mass stars. Development of models will be guided by existing and oncoming observational data, including solar neutrinos and asteroseismology (Kepler). The present proposal reinforces other European efforts related to solar and stellar physics, like the solar neutrino experiment Borexino, the Kepler Asteroseismic Scientific Consortium (hosted by Aarhus University), and HELAS initiative, funded as a “Co-ordination Action” under FP6. The grant will allow an internationally recognized scientist to establish himself as an independent researcher in Spain, bringing new expertise and network of collaborators to the European Union.
Fields of science
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