Nuclear data for r-process models (Webinar Registration)
Rebecca Surman, Union College
While we know the heaviest nuclei in the galaxy are made via rapid neutron capture, or r-process, nucleosynthesis, exactly where (and how) the r-process occurs is still not understood. Progress toward answering these questions involves nuclear network simulations of the r-process, which require nuclear physics information for thousands of neutron-rich nuclei from the line of stability to the neutron drip line. Only very few of these pieces of nuclear data have been measured experimentally, and, even with the development of the next generation of radioactive beam facilities, we will never be able to measure all of the data we need. It is therefore imperative to determine which nuclear properties are most crucial for r-process simulations. Here we report on recent r-process sensitivity studies that examine the roles of individual pieces of nuclear data---neutron separation energies, beta decay rates, and neutron capture rates---in shaping the final r-process abundance distribution.