This reseach group centers around the "SUPERNOVA PROBLEM". It concerns the death of massive stars (i.e. stars that are more than 10 times as massive as the sun) and, in particular, the understanding of the physical processes involved. Such events are the most energetic outbursts in the modern universe with an energy output in excess of an entire galaxy - containing billions of stars - for the period of several months. The understanding of such events requires a profound knowledge about all four fundamental forces of nature - gravity, electromagnetism, strong, and weak interactions - as well as large scale numerical modeling. Supernovae are also an ideal site to probe the yet incopmpletely known state of matter, in particular at extreme conditions that are inaccessible otherwise, e.g., in terrestrial experiments.