Artemis Spyrou

Professor of Physics


Education and training

  • MS, Physics, National Technical University of Athens, 2003
  • PhD, Physics, National Technical University of Athens, 2007


The elements we observe today on earth were all created inside stars. My group works on understanding how different stellar environments contribute to the synthesis of elements we see in the universe.

The abundances of the elements in our solar system together with the analysis of meteorites and observations of star light are some of the observables we use to understand how the universe works. The field of nuclear astrophysics aims at explaining all these observables by creating accurate models of stars and the various nucleosynthesis processes that take place inside them. Together with describing the stellar conditions in these models, one must also include accurately the properties of all nuclei that participate in these astrophysical processes. 

My group works on identifying and measuring important nuclear properties that affect how the heavy elements are synthesized. This includes nuclear reaction and radioactive decay properties. For this purpose, we developed the SuN detector - a total absorption gamma-ray spectrometer- that is used for detecting the gamma rays emitted from nuclear reactions or from radioactive decays. We run experiments at FRIB and at other facilities, always focusing on addressing important astrophysical questions.


Artemis Spyrou is a Professor at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Michigan State University (MSU) and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). She earned her PhD in 2007 from the National Technical University of Athens and has been at MSU ever since. Her research focuses on studying the nuclear reactions that drive stellar processes. In particular, she designs and performs experiments that try to answer the question “How are the heavy elements formed in the Universe?” Her experiments take place at radioactive beam facilities, such as FRIB at MSU, Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and TRIUMF in Canada. During the period 2015-2019 she also served as the Associate Director for Education and Outreach at FRIB, leading the laboratory’s education, outreach and diversity activities. She is passionate about issues related to women in physics, and participates in activities that help support women, in particular within the nuclear physics community. She is also strongly engaged in outreach, organizing local activities, giving public talks, and writing popular science articles.

How students can contribute as part of my research team

Students in my group participate in all aspects of experimental nuclear science research: preparing and running experiments, analyzing data, working on simulations, contributing to experimental proposal preparation, and paper writing, as well as often running astrophysical calculations and even some nuclear theory models. Group members collaborate with each other and with the members of other groups in and out of FRIB. We run experiments locally at the FRIB facility and at external facilities with complementary capabilities: we have active programs at the CARIBU facility at Argonne National Laboratory, at TRIUMF lab in Canada and at the University of Oslo in Norway. My group has been quite diverse for many years. We all try to learn from each other’s experiences, respect our differences and value the different points of view. As an advisor I strive to offer each student the individual mentoring they need to be successful.

Scientific publications