An increase in the 12C + 12C fusion rate from resonances at astrophysical energies View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2018-05-23

AUTHORS

A. Tumino, C. Spitaleri, M. La Cognata, S. Cherubini, G. L. Guardo, M. Gulino, S. Hayakawa, I. Indelicato, L. Lamia, H. Petrascu, R. G. Pizzone, S. M. R. Puglia, G. G. Rapisarda, S. Romano, M. L. Sergi, R. Spartá, L. Trache

ABSTRACT

Carbon burning powers scenarios that influence the fate of stars, such as the late evolutionary stages of massive stars1 (exceeding eight solar masses) and superbursts from accreting neutron stars2,3. It proceeds through the 12C + 12C fusion reactions that produce an alpha particle and neon-20 or a proton and sodium-23—that is, 12C(12C, α)20Ne and 12C(12C, p)23Na—at temperatures greater than 0.4 × 109 kelvin, corresponding to astrophysical energies exceeding a megaelectronvolt, at which such nuclear reactions are more likely to occur in stars. The cross-sections4 for those carbon fusion reactions (probabilities that are required to calculate the rate of the reactions) have hitherto not been measured at the Gamow peaks4 below 2 megaelectronvolts because of exponential suppression arising from the Coulomb barrier. The reference rate5 at temperatures below 1.2 × 109 kelvin relies on extrapolations that ignore the effects of possible low-lying resonances. Here we report the measurement of the 12C(12C, α0,1)20Ne and 12C(12C, p0,1)23Na reaction rates (where the subscripts 0 and 1 stand for the ground and first excited states of 20Ne and 23Na, respectively) at centre-of-mass energies from 2.7 to 0.8 megaelectronvolts using the Trojan Horse method6,7 and the deuteron in 14N. The cross-sections deduced exhibit several resonances that are responsible for very large increases of the reaction rate at relevant temperatures. In particular, around 5 × 108 kelvin, the reaction rate is boosted to more than 25 times larger than the reference value5. This finding may have implications such as lowering the temperatures and densities8 required for the ignition of carbon burning in massive stars and decreasing the superburst ignition depth in accreting neutron stars to reconcile observations with theoretical models3. More... »

PAGES

687-690

References to SciGraph publications

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1038/s41586-018-0149-4

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0149-4

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1104151791

PUBMED

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29795352


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12 schema:description Carbon burning powers scenarios that influence the fate of stars, such as the late evolutionary stages of massive stars1 (exceeding eight solar masses) and superbursts from accreting neutron stars2,3. It proceeds through the 12C + 12C fusion reactions that produce an alpha particle and neon-20 or a proton and sodium-23—that is, 12C(12C, α)20Ne and 12C(12C, p)23Na—at temperatures greater than 0.4 × 109 kelvin, corresponding to astrophysical energies exceeding a megaelectronvolt, at which such nuclear reactions are more likely to occur in stars. The cross-sections4 for those carbon fusion reactions (probabilities that are required to calculate the rate of the reactions) have hitherto not been measured at the Gamow peaks4 below 2 megaelectronvolts because of exponential suppression arising from the Coulomb barrier. The reference rate5 at temperatures below 1.2 × 109 kelvin relies on extrapolations that ignore the effects of possible low-lying resonances. Here we report the measurement of the 12C(12C, α0,1)20Ne and 12C(12C, p0,1)23Na reaction rates (where the subscripts 0 and 1 stand for the ground and first excited states of 20Ne and 23Na, respectively) at centre-of-mass energies from 2.7 to 0.8 megaelectronvolts using the Trojan Horse method6,7 and the deuteron in 14N. The cross-sections deduced exhibit several resonances that are responsible for very large increases of the reaction rate at relevant temperatures. In particular, around 5 × 108 kelvin, the reaction rate is boosted to more than 25 times larger than the reference value5. This finding may have implications such as lowering the temperatures and densities8 required for the ignition of carbon burning in massive stars and decreasing the superburst ignition depth in accreting neutron stars to reconcile observations with theoretical models3.
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19 schema:keywords Coulomb barrier
20 Gamow peaks4
21 Kelvin
22 Trojan horse
23 alpha particles
24 astrophysical energies
25 barriers
26 carbon
27 carbon fusion reaction
28 center
29 densities8
30 depth
31 deuterons
32 effect
33 energy
34 evolutionary stages
35 exponential suppression
36 extrapolation
37 fate
38 fate of stars
39 findings
40 fusion rate
41 fusion reactions
42 horses
43 ignition
44 ignition depth
45 ignition of carbon
46 implications
47 increase
48 large increase
49 late evolutionary stages
50 mass energy
51 massive stars
52 massive stars1
53 measurements
54 megaelectronvolts
55 models3
56 neutron stars
57 neutrons
58 nuclear reactions
59 observations
60 particles
61 peaks4
62 power scenarios
63 protons
64 rate
65 rate5
66 reaction
67 reaction rate
68 reference rate5
69 reference value5
70 relevant temperatures
71 resonance
72 scenarios
73 stage
74 stars
75 stars1
76 such nuclear reactions
77 superburst
78 superburst ignition depth
79 suppression
80 temperature
81 theoretical models3
82 time
83 value5
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