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

Nuclear Messengers: Probing Stellar Models Through Microphysics

Michael Bertolli

Astronomers and astrophysicists are interested in a more detailed study of supernova, and LANL is a leader in this effort. With extensive data available on supernova remnants we have unique and growing opportunities to study the microphysics behind these explosions. The physics of these explosions provide information about nucleosynthetic yields which can discriminate between competing supernova models and constrain the initial supernova progenitor. However, the application of nuclear data uncertainty analysis to astrophysics is limited to select sensitivity studies with simplistic methods of uncertainty propagation, and employed rates are often outdated. Recent work within T-2 utilizing the group's nuclear data expertise has led to full nuclear reaction rate uncertainty studies within the NuGrid nucleosynthesis code. These initial studies highlight the importance of full uncertainty studies, and provide an opportunity for LANL to take the lead in microphysics studies of stellar processes. We will also present outlooks on how T-2 might leverage their expertise in further studies of nuclear reaction rates and nucleosynthetic networks.


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