‘We must reinvigorate nuclear physics in Armenia’: Ani Aprahamian

Ani Aprahamian sat down with Lara Tcholakian to share her role and achievements as the director of Yerevan’s Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory. She discussed how applied sciences and quantum physics could help advance Armenia not just by making the country a center for science and technology in the Caucasus. She explained how Yuri Oganessian inspired her to come to Armenia and support the Scientific Committee and the Alikhanyan Laboratory. Her parents played an important role in supporting her love for the sciences despite their own challenging lives, being born in refugee camps in Lebanon as descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors from Eybez (Cilicia) and Kesivik (Kharpert). The discussion finally made a full circle in exploring the problems that Armenia faces today, like high mortality rates for cancer, and the role that the National Science Library can play in addressing such issues.

About Dr. Ani Aprahamian

Ani Aprahamian is currently the Freimann Professor of Physics at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where she was the only female nuclear physicist for nearly 30 years. Since 2018, she has also been the director of the Alikhanyan National Science Laboratory in Armenia, the first woman and diaspora Armenian to ever hold the position. Her research focuses on the evolution of nuclear structure and the impact of various structure effects on stellar and explosive astrophysical processes. At the lab, Aprahamian led her team of 20 physicists’ research on the overlap between nuclear physics and astrophysics using two particle accelerators. She has given over 200 talks at various conferences, has over 200 publications in journals and book chapters, and has served on U.S. and international committees on nuclear science. Aprahamian has been a fellow of the American Physics Society since 1999 and the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 2008. In 2014 she served as a member of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee of the United States Department of Energy. That same year, she also served as chair of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics.

Program overview

In a new open setting, Lara deconstructs inherited cultural and historical narratives, memories, life lessons and experiences from change catalysts. Her guests reflect on the stories, people, events and mindsets that have shaped their professional and personal lives, enabling them to create a more mindful life.

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