Explosive H-burning, the rp-process, and X-ray bursts

Friedrich-Karl Thielemann, H. Schatz, T. Rauscher, J.F. Rembges, J. Gorres, Michael Wiescher, L. Bildsten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The major astrophysical events which involve explosive H-burning are novae and type I X-ray bursts. Both are related to binary stellar systems with hydrogen accretion from a binary companion onto a compact object, and the explosive ignition of the accreted H-layer. High densities cause the pressure to be dominated by the degenerate electron gas, preventing a stable and controlled burning. In the case of novae the compact object is a white dwarf, in the case of X-ray bursts it is a neutron star. Explosive II-burning in novae has been discussed in many recent articles [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Its processing is limited due to maximum temperatures of similar to 3X10(8)K. Only in X-ray bursts temperatures larger than 4x10(8)K are possible, which permit a break-out from the hot CNO-cycle, leading to a further temperature increase beyond 10(9)K, the onset of an rp-process (a sequence of proton captures and beta-decays) and burning of H and He to Fe/Ni and beyond. Here we investigate the rp-process by making use of a complete and updated nuclear reaction network from H to Sn. In particular we consider 2p-capture reactions that can bridge proton unbound nuclei and therefore accelerate the reaction flow. In a simplified one dimensional, one-cone X-ray burst model we find that for a 25 s burst the reaction flow reaches Cd. The consequences for energy production, final composition of the ashes, and fuel consumption are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStellar Evolution, Stellar Explosions and Galactic Chemical Evolution
EditorsA. Mezzacappa
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherIOP Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0-7503-0555-X, 978-0750305556
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Event2nd Oak Ridge Symposium on Atomic and Nuclear Astrophysics - OAK RIDGE, Tunisia
Duration: 2 Dec 19976 Dec 1997


Conference2nd Oak Ridge Symposium on Atomic and Nuclear Astrophysics


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