Michael C.F. Wiescher
Frank M. Freimann Professor of Physics
A world-renowned experimental nuclear astrophysicist, Michael C.F. Wiescher has made innumerable contributions to our understanding of stellar evolution and the synthesis of elements in the universe. He is particularly well-known for his use of novel techniques involving low-energy ion beams in measuring the nuclear reactions that determine the lifespan and evolution of stars. Equally skilled in the laboratory and the classroom, Wiescher has won a number of teaching awards and is a fellow of Notre Dame’s Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning.
Wiescher directs Notre Dame’s Institute for Structure and Nuclear Astrophysics as well as the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA). JINA, a collaboration of Notre Dame, the University of Chicago, and Michigan State University, is a National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center. He is also the lead for a new project, the Dual Ion Accelerator for Nuclear Astrophysics (DIANA), which seeks to develop an accelerator laboratory 5000 feet underground at Homestake Mine in South Dakota.
In 2003, Wiescher was awarded the Hans Bethe Prize of the DNP & DAP from the American Physical Society. In 2010, Wiescher was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognized for his “many significant contributions to nuclear physics, and to our understanding of the processes that power the stars.”
This professorship was established in 1998, with earnings from a gift of the Freimann Charitable Trust, made in honor of Frank Freimann, a pioneer of the electronics industry and former chief executive officer of Magnavox.