National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Christopher Wrede
Christopher Wrede
Associate Professor of Physics
Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics
PhD, Physics, Yale University, 2008
Joined NSCL in August 2011
Phone 517-908-7581
Office 2018
wrede at

Christopher Wrede

Professional Homepage

Atomic nuclei play an important role in the evolution of matter in our universe. For many problems in astrophysics, cosmology, and particle physics, the detailed properties of atomic nuclei provide essential inputs to the solutions.

Our group’s research focuses on studying nuclei experimentally to probe fundamental questions about our universe. For example, we measure nuclear reactions, decays, and masses in the laboratory to learn about the reactions that power exploding stars or affect their synthesis of chemical elements. Similar experiments can contribute to searches for physics beyond the standard model of particle physics. In some cases we can use these low energy nuclear physics techniques to directly measure the reactions that occur in stars or to directly search for new physics.

In the near future, our group’s program at NSCL will be focused on measuring the beta decays of proton-rich nuclides. With these experiments, we hope to constrain the nuclear structure details that are most influential on the explosive burning of hydrogen on the surfaces of accreting compact stars such as white dwarfs and neutron stars. Additionally, these experiments can allow us to better constrain the effects of isospin-symmetry breaking in nuclei on tests of the unitarity of the Cabibbo-Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix, a cornerstone of the standard model.

Students in our group have opportunities to propose, prepare, execute, analyze, and interpret nuclear-physics experiments at NSCL, to publish the results in leading scientific journals, and to present the results at national and international conferences.

SeGA array

The SeGA array of germanium gamma-ray detectors arranged for a measurement of the beta delayed gamma decay of 26P in order to determine the amount of 26Al produced in classical nova explosions.


Selected Publications

Isospin Mixing Reveals 30P(p, γ)31S Resonance Affecting Nova Nucleosynthesis, M. B. Bennett, C. Wrede, et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 102502 (2016)

β-delayed γ decay of 26P: Possible evidence of a proton halo, D. Perez-Loureiro, C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. C 93, 064320 (2016)

Revalidation of the Isobaric Multiplet Mass Equation for the A=20 Quintet, B. E. Glassman, D. Perez-Loureiro, C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. C, 92, 042501(R) (2015)

Observation of Doppler broadening in beta delayed proton-gamma decay, S. B. Schwartz, C. Wrede, et al., Phys. Rev. C 92, 031302(R) (2015)

Classical Nova Contribution to the Milky Way's 26Al abundance: Exit channel of the key 25Al(p, γ)26Si resonance, M. B. Bennett, C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 232503 (2013)

Electron capture on 116In and implications for nuclear structure related to double-β decay , C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. C 87, 031303(R) (2013)