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The alpha-process and the r-process
Woosley, S. E.; Hoffman, Robert D.
AA(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz; Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA), AB(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz; San Francisco State University, CA)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 395, no. 1, p. 202-239. (ApJ Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Alpha Particles, Heavy Elements, Neutron Stars, Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Reactions, Abundance, Iron Isotopes, Nuclear Astrophysics
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The paper explores the alpha-rich freeze-out for values of neutron excesses larger than previously treated, and reports the discovery of nuclear systematics that, for neutron excesses greater than about 0.05, allow the creation of heavier elements all the way up to A of about 100, even when most of the ejecta is in the form of heavy elements. It is found that a large part of the nuclear flow in the r-process may be carried by charged particle reactions up to about A of about 100. It is speculated that the site of these processes is the high-entropy 'wind' of a young neutron star in which neutrino energy deposition is driving mass loss. The pass of r-process ejected per supernova is expected to be about 0.0001 solar mass per Type II or Ib supernova, but this is sensitive to details of the presupernova structure, the explosion mechanism, and the amount of material that falls back onto the neutron star when the reverse shock arrives there.

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