Sensitivity of X-ray burst models to uncertainties in nuclear processes

Karl Smith, A. Matthew Amthor, Richard Cyburt, Ryan Ferguson, Alexander Heger, Emily Johnson, Matthew Klein, Zachary Meisel, Thomas Rauscher, Alexander Sakharuk, Friedrich K. Tielemann, Hendrik Schatz, Scott Warren, Michael Wiescher

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The underlying nuclear reaction sequence in Type I X-ray bursts is the rp-process. We examine the sensitivity of current X-ray burst models to uncertainties in nuclear reaction rates in terms of predicted X-ray light curves and final produced ashes. Many of the relevant reaction rates have significantly large uncertainties that impact the results of X-ray burst models. We used an updated nuclear reaction network and ran almost 400,000 simulations with a single-zone X-ray burst model to determine the influence of individual reaction rate variations. We also explored the validity of single-zone approximations as tools to investigate nuclear physics by comparing to a full 1-D multi-zone model. We show that a properly calibrated single-zone model can save computation time and give similar results to multi-zone models. Using the calibrated singlezone model we identify the most significant reaction in the X-ray burst.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event10th Symposium on Nuclei in the Cosmos, NIC 2008 - Mackinac Island, MI, United States
Duration: 27 Jul 20081 Aug 2008


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