The light emitted by the stars is a direct result of the nuclear reactions that naturally occur when massive clouds of gas collapse and heat, whether it be the constant shine of our Sun, or the newly observed flares of gamma-ray bursters. The abundances of the elements here on Earth are also the result of nuclear reactions that have occurred in previous generations of stars. The understanding of nucleosynthesis processes and of the energy generation in astrophysical objects is the subject of Nuclear Astrophysics.
The Edinburgh Nuclear Physics Group has a very strong record in nuclear astrophysical research. A selection of currently active research areas is summarised below: