Upcoming Events

Rare X-ray Bursts and Superbursts from Neutron Stars

March 4, 2013 3:30PM to 4:30PM
Laurens Keek, Michigan State University
Building 203, Room R150
Physics Division Seminar
Hydrogen and helium accreted onto a neutron star undergo runaway thermonuclear burning, which is frequently observed as brief X-ray bursts. In the ashes layer, carbon fusion produces rare powerful superbursts. Although numerical models have been successful in explaining certain observed bursts, many important aspects remain unexplained. We show the latest observations and models of rare X-ray bursts such as superbursts. Furthermore, we discuss how the transition from bursts to stable burning depends on the breakout reactions from the CNO cycle and the experimental uncertainty in their rates.