Knowledge of neutron capture cross sections at low energies is essential to understanding the r-process and predicting the abundances of the heavy elements. Yet, off stability, these cross sections are difficult to measure and hard to predict. Dozens or even hundreds are needed for nuclei along the r-process path. Statistical models can often differ by an order of magnitude even just a few nucleons from stability.
We will discuss a newly discovered, empirical, parameter-free, compact correlation between S2n values and neutron capture cross sections, applicable to almost all nuclei above A~110, that allows predictions of neutron capture cross sections, often by interpolation, to accuracies often as good as 25%.