We calculate the rapid proton (rp) capture process of hydrogen burning on the surface of an accreting neutron star with an updated reaction network that extends up to Xe, far beyond previous work. In both steady-state nuclear burning appropriate for rapidly accreting neutron stars (such as the magnetic polar caps of accreting x-ray pulsars) and unstable burning of type I x-ray bursts, we find that the rp process ends in a closed SnSbTe cycle. This prevents the synthesis of elements heavier than Te and has important consequences for x-ray burst profiles, the composition of accreting neutron stars, and potentially galactic nucleosynthesis of light p nuclei.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Apr 2001|
- THERMONUCLEAR FLASHES