Challenges in nucleosynthesis of trans-iron elements

T. Rauscher

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
169 Downloads (Pure)


Nucleosynthesis beyond Fe poses additional challenges not encountered when studying astrophysical processes involving light nuclei. Astrophysical sites and conditions are not well known for some of the processes involved. On the nuclear physics side, different approaches are required, both in theory and experiment. The main differences and most important considerations are presented for a selection of nucleosynthesis processes and reactions, specifically the s-, r-, γ-, and νp-processes. Among the discussed issues are uncertainties in sites and production conditions, the difference between laboratory and stellar rates, reaction mechanisms, important transitions, thermal population of excited states, and uncertainty estimates for stellar rates. The utility and limitations of indirect experimental approaches are also addressed. The presentation should not be viewed as confining the discussed problems to the specific processes. The intention is to generally introduce the concepts and possible pitfalls along with some examples. Similar problems may apply to further astrophysical processes involving nuclei from the Fe region upward and/or at high plasma temperatures. The framework and strategies presented here are intended to aid the conception of future experimental and theoretical approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Article number041012
Number of pages22
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


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