T-2, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology

Nuclear physics for nucleosynthesis in light of the GW170817 observation

Matthew Mumpower

Last August marked the first observation of gravitational waves and electromagnetic signals from the merging of two neutron stars sending ripples through the astrophysics, atomic physics, nuclear physics and gravitational wave communities. I will give an overview of the GW170817 event including the resultant kilonova, or electromagnetic transient powered by the radioactive decay of freshly produced heavy nuclei. Since some amount of heavy nuclei were created, the rapid neutron capture (r-process) nucleosynthesis is likely to have ensued. I will discuss this possibility and then focus the talk on recent nuclear physics work performed at LANL that is relevant for the inclusion in nucleosynthesis calculations.


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