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A new site for the astrophysical gamma-process
Howard, W. Michael; Meyer, Bradley S.; Woosley, S. E.
AA(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA), AB(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA), AC(California, University, Santa Cruz)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 373, May 20, 1991, p. L5-L8. (ApJL Homepage)
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NASA/STI Keywords:
Gamma Ray Astronomy, Nuclear Astrophysics, Stellar Evolution, Supernovae, White Dwarf Stars, Abundance, Carbon, Oxygen, Stellar Temperature
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The study suggests that the requisite thermodynamic conditions may occur when carbon-oxygen white dwarfs explode by deflagration or detonation. When these stars undergo such explosive disruption, there will be a region near the surface where the burning temperature lies in the 2.4-3.2 range. To examine this astrophysical site, calculations are performed for an s-process nucleosynthesis during helium shell flashes and the nuclear transmission taking place when such mass zones are heated by the deflagration or detonation wave, and the results are compared with the solar-system distribution of the p-isotopes. It is demonstrated that Type Ia supernovas provide a viable site for the gamma process, and that the same thermodynamic conditions would also exist in Type II-p powered supernovas, provided that they are powered by detonation.

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