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

Nuclear data sensitivities and their impact on r-process nucleosynthesis

Matthew Mumpower
Notre Dame

The rapid neutron capture process or r-process is believed to be responsible for the synthesis of half the heaviest elements above iron. Calculations of r-process nucleosynthesis require nuclear data for thousands of neutron-rich nuclei far from stability where little information exists. Sensitivity studies are one way in determining which nuclear properties are important to measure at current and next generation facilities. I examine the role of nuclear masses, beta-decay rates, neutron capture rates and beta-delayed neutron emission probabilities in a variety of astrophysical environments. I identify key nuclei in these studies which have a substantial impact on final r-process abundances and show that they are within reach of future radioactive ion beam measurements. I will also discuss how new measurements will shed light on the longstanding puzzle of the astrophysical site of the r-process. This work was supported by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics grant number PHY0822648.


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