Uncertainties in the production of p nuclides in thermonuclear supernovae determined by Monte Carlo variations

N. Nishimura, T. Rauscher, R. Hirschi, A. St J. Murphy, G. Cescutti, C. Travaglio

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Thermonuclear supernovae originating from the explosion of a white dwarf accreting mass from a companion star have been suggested as a site for the production of p nuclides. Such nuclei are produced during the explosion, in layers enriched with seed nuclei coming from prior strong s processing. These seeds are transformed into proton-richer isotopes mainly by photodisintegration reactions. Several thousand trajectories from a 2D explosion model were used in a Monte Carlo approach. Temperature-dependent uncertainties were assigned individually to thousands of rates varied simultaneously in post-processing in an extended nuclear reaction network. The uncertainties in the final nuclear abundances originating from uncertainties in the astrophysical reaction rates were determined. In addition to the 35 classical p nuclides, abundance uncertainties were also determined for the radioactive nuclides 92Nb, 97, 98Tc, 146Sm, and for the abundance ratios Y(92Mo)/Y(94Mo), Y(92Nb)/Y(92Mo), Y(97Tc)/Y(98Ru), Y(98Tc)/Y(98Ru), and Y(146Sm)/Y(144Sm), important for Galactic Chemical Evolution studies. Uncertainties found were generally lower than a factor of 2, although most nucleosynthesis flows mainly involve predicted rates with larger uncertainties. The main contribution to the total uncertainties comes from a group of trajectories with high peak density originating from the interior of the exploding white dwarf. The distinction between low-density and high-density trajectories allows more general conclusions to be drawn, also applicable to other simulations of white dwarf explosions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3133-3139
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date7 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Abundances
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Stars: abundances
  • Supernovae: general


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