National Superconducting
Cyclotron Laboratory

Artemis Spyrou
Artemis Spyrou
Associate Professor & Associate Director for Education
Experimental Nuclear Physics
PhD Physics, National Technical University of Athens, 2007
Joined NSCL in May 2007
Phone 517-908-7141
Office 2008
spyrou at

Artemis Spyrou

Professional Homepage

My research focuses on the field of Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics. I study the structure of exotic nuclei that participate in different astrophysical processes in an attempt to better understand the synthesis of the elements we see around us. In addition, I study nuclear reactions that take place in stellar environments, either by measuring the reaction of interest directly, or indirectly by studying important nuclear properties.   

The elements that we observe today on earth were all created inside stars through different types of nuclear reactions. Starting with hydrogen and helium, the light elements are produced by reaction cycles that burn the existing fuel and slowly build the heavier nuclei up to the region of iron. Above iron, most elements are created through two processes (s- and r-process), which involve neutron-induced reactions together with β-decays. There is also a small group of proton-rich nuclei, called “p-nuclei”, which cannot be created by these neutron-processes but rather by a different process called “p process”. There are several open questions governing the synthesis of the heavy elements. My work as an experimentalist is to study the nuclear reactions involved in these astrophysical processes and also the structure of the participating nuclei. For this purpose, my group developed the SuN detector - a total absorption gamma-ray spectrometer that is used for very efficiently detecting the gamma rays emitted from nuclear reactions or from beta-decay processes.

My group performs experiments in all three of the experimental areas of the Laboratory: 1) We measure beta decays with fast beams, where the beam is implanted in a detector at the center of SuN. 2) For nuclei with longer half-lives we can study beta-decays in the “stopped” beam area, where we use a tape transport system for removing any radioactive decay products. 3) We use reaccelerated rare isotope beams from the ReA3 facility to measure nuclear reactions at energies that correspond to the temperature of the astrophysical environment.


The SuN detector is shown next to an artist’s rendition of astronomical events.


Selected Publications

Strong Neutron-γ Competition above the Neutron Threshold in the Decay of 70Co, Spyrou, S. N. Liddick, et al. Physical Review Letters 117 (2016) 142701

Novel technique for constraining r-process  (n,γ) reaction rates. A. Spyrou, et. al., Physical Review Letters 113 (2014) 232502

Measurement of the 58Ni(α,γ)62Zn reaction and its astrophysical impact. S. J. Quinn, A. Spyrou, et al., Physical Review C 89 (2014) 054611

Probing the production mechanism of the light p-nuclei. S.J. Quinn, A. Spyrou, A. Simon, et. al. Physical Review C Rapic Communication, 88 (2013) 011603

First Observation of Ground State Dineutron Decay: 16Be, A. Spyrou, Z. Kohley, et al., Physical Review Letters 108 (2012) 102501

Nuclear structure experiments along the neutron drip line, T. Baumann, A. Spyrou, M. Thoennessen, Reports on Progress in Physcis, 75 (2012) 036301