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Araceli Lopez-Martens: CNRS Silver Medal winner 2023

Talents Article published on 02 March 2023 , Updated on 15 January 2024

Araceli Lopez-Martens, is a research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a nuclear physicist who specialises in the study of superheavy nuclei at the Laboratory of the Physics of the two Infinities - Irène Joliot-Curie (IJCLab - Univ. Paris-Saclay, CNRS, Univ. Paris Cité). She has just been awarded the CNRS Silver Medal 2023. The distinction rewards researchers for the originality, quality and importance of their work, which is recognised both in France and internationally.

Araceli Lopez-Martens is a nuclear physicist specialising in the study of the nuclear structure and the stability of atomic nuclei.

In the 1990s, Araceli was involved in the European gamma ray detector project, EUROBALL. As one of the most powerful facilities of its time, it is used to study high spin states in nuclei to improve our understanding of the force at work between their nucleons.

Her work on the extreme deformation of nuclei, and later on superheavy nuclei, has become a reference in the field, bringing her to the some of the world’s main centres for nuclear physics.

In 2020, alongside her colleagues, Araceli discovered a new isotope of Nobelium in Dubna, Russia: 249No.

The physicist also worked on the construction of AGATA (Advanced Gamma Tracking Array), a next generation photon detector for nuclear physics, which she coordinated in France from 2016 to 2022.

Araceli Lopez-Martens is also involved in the development of the S3 spectrometer (Super Separator Spectrometer) at GANIL, Caen (France), a future centre for research on exotic nuclei.

Text translated from the original published in French on the CNRS website