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 FRIB will be focused on measuring the beta and electron capture decays of proton-rich nuclides. With these experiments, we hope to constrain the nuclear structure details that are most influential on photodisintegration in supernovae and the explosive burning of hydrogen and helium on the surfaces of accreting compact stars such as white dwarfs and neutron stars. Similar experiments can allow us to test hypotheses that could explain the origins of dark matter in the universe or 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/FRIB, to publish the results in leading scientific journals, and to present the results at national and international conferences.


The Gaseous Detector with Germanium Tagging (GADGET) prior to an NSCL experiment to determine the isotopic ratios expected in microscopic grains of stardust.

Selected Publications

Low-energy 23Al b-delayed proton decay and 22Na destruction in novae, M. Friedman et al., Phys. Rev. C 101, 052802(R) (2020)

GADGET: a Gaseous Detector with Germanium Tagging, M. Friedman et al., Nucl. Instrum Methods Phys. Res., Sect. A 940, 93 (2019)

Doppler Broadening in 20Mg(β p γ)19Ne Decay, B. E. Glassman, D. Perez-Loureiro, C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. C 99, 065801 (2019)

New portal to the 15O(α, γ)19Ne resonance triggering CNO-cycle breakout, C. Wrede et al., Phys. Rev. C 96, 032801(R) (2017)

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)

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