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The p-process in supernovae
Woosley, S. E.; Howard, W. M.
AA(Lick Observatory, Santa Cruz, Calif.), AB(California, University, Livermore, Calif.)
Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, vol. 36, Feb. 1978, p. 285-304. (ApJS Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Abundance, Nuclear Fusion, Supernovae, Atomic Weights, Disintegration, Heavy Elements, Isotopes, Nuclei (Nuclear Physics), Proton Flux Density, Stellar Evolution, Stellar Structure, Tables (Data), Temperature Distribution
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The nucleosynthetic origin of the rare proton-rich isotopes, usually called 'p-process' isotopes, is examined. A particularly interesting context for this synthesis is found to be explosive events characterized by peak temperatures in the range from 2 to 3 billion K. At these temperatures a series of photodisintegration reactions operating upon a distribution of r- and s-process seeds produces an abundance pattern that displays striking similarities to that of the p-process nuclei in the solar system. The large proton densities usually required for such synthesis are not needed. Requisite conditions for this model are expected to occur naturally in those zones of supernovae that have experienced helium and perhaps carbon burning prior to explosion. Implications for supernova structure, presupernova evolution, and cosmochronology are discussed, and a critical discussion of other current p-process models is presented.

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