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Colloquium | Physics

Constraining Weak r-Process Nucleosynthesis

PHY Colloquium

Abstract: A second r-process, distinct from neutron star mergers and active in the early galaxy, is required to explain the observations of first r-process peak element abundances in metal-poor stars. One candidate for such a mechanism is the neutrino-driven wind in core-collapse supernova. The wind conditions are currently not well-constrained and the paucity of relevant nuclear data results in difficulties in limiting the astrophysical phase space from observations. Recently, significant effort and progress has been made in measuring (a,n) reactions, which are the primary drivers of nucleosynthesis early in the wind when temperatures are high.

I will discuss efforts in the community in measuring (a,n) reactions on radioactive nuclei in inverse kinematics and present first results from a proof-of-principle experiment using the MUSIC detector at Argonne National Laboratory.