Investigation of the Role of the Role of Nuclear Physics in Heavy Element Nucleosynthesis, through the Study of Key Reactions, and the Improvement of Theoretical Reaction Rates

Grant Details


The proposed project combines experiments (measurements of nuclear reaction cross-sections) with new microscopic theory methodologies (Constant Temperature Shell-model Moments level densities -CTSM) to address open questions about the synthesis of elements. The goal is to investigate the role of nuclear physics in heavy element nucleosynthesis and has two components:

1) Investigate the effect of key reaction rates to the role of np-process in heavy element nucleosynthesis. In particular address the following question:

Could the neutrino p-process be part of the explanation for the synthesis of heavy elements, and what would

its role in that part of nucleosynthesis be?

2) Investigate the effect of advancements in microscopic nuclear theory to the accuracy of nucleosynthesis

calculations. In particular, answer the following question:

Can we use advances in microscopic nuclear theory to improve the predictive power of reaction rates

calculations, and how would this improvement impact any calculated nucleosynthesis yields?

In the next funding period, we expect to continue work towards an experimental constraint of the 56Ni(n,p)56Co reaction rate that is key for the production of heavy elements by the neutrino-p process in core-collapse supernovae. We will develop and test an improved detector setup and the beamline tunes needed for the successful measurement of the time-inverse reaction 56Co(p,n)56Ni at FRIB once an experiment can be scheduled by the FRIB facility . We will also complete the GEANT simulations needed for the direct measurement of the excitation function of the 56Ni(n,p)56Co reaction at LANL using the LENZ instrument once the appropriate 56Ni target is available. Last, we will use level densities calculated with the shell model moments method in the neutrino-p process region to compare with experimental level density data and to calculate relevant reaction rates for the neutrino-p process.

Effective start/end date10/15/1910/14/22


  • Nuclear Physics: $569,000.00


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