614 research outputs found

    Neutrino Interactions in the Outflow from Gamma-Ray Burst Accretion Disks

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    We examine the composition of matter as it flows away from gamma ray burst accretion disks, in order to determine what sort of nucleosynthesis may occur. Since there is a large flux of neutrinos leaving the surface of the disk, the electron fraction of the outflowing material will change due to charged current neutrino interactions. We calculate the electron fraction in the wind using detailed neutrino fluxes from every point on the disk and study a range of trajectories and outflow conditions for several different accretion disk models. We find that low electron fractions, conducive to making r-process elements, only appear in outflows from disks with high accretion rates that have a significant region both of trapped neutrinos and antineutrinos. Disks with lower accretion rates that have only a significant region of trapped neutrinos can have outflows with very high electron fractions, whereas the lowest accretion rate disks with little trapping have outflow electrons fractions of closer to one half.Comment: 11 pages, 10 figure

    Nucleosynthesis of Nickel-56 from Gamma-Ray Burst Accretion Disks

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    We examine the prospects for producing Nickel-56 from black hole accretion disks, by examining a range of steady state disk models. We focus on relatively slowly accreting disks in the range of 0.05 - 1 solar masses per second, as are thought to be appropriate for the central engines of long-duration gamma-ray bursts. We find that significant amounts of Nickel-56 are produced over a wide range of parameter space. We discuss the influence of entropy, outflow timescale and initial disk position on mass fraction of Nickel-56 which is produced. We keep careful track of the weak interactions to ensure reliable calculations of the electron fraction, and discuss the role of the neutrinos.Comment: 10 pages, 9 figure

    The impact of global nuclear mass model uncertainties on rr-process abundance predictions

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    Rapid neutron capture or `rr-process' nucleosynthesis may be responsible for half the production of heavy elements above iron on the periodic table. Masses are one of the most important nuclear physics ingredients that go into calculations of rr-process nucleosynthesis as they enter into the calculations of reaction rates, decay rates, branching ratios and Q-values. We explore the impact of uncertainties in three nuclear mass models on rr-process abundances by performing global monte carlo simulations. We show that root-mean-square (rms) errors of current mass models are large so that current rr-process predictions are insufficient in predicting features found in solar residuals and in rr-process enhanced metal poor stars. We conclude that the reduction of global rms errors below 100100 keV will allow for more robust rr-process predictions.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, invited talk at the 15th International Symposium on Capture Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Related Topics (CGS15), to appear in EPJ Web of Conference

    Neutrinos and the synthesis of heavy elements: the role of gravity

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    The synthesis of heavy elements in the Universe presents several challenges. From one side the astrophysical site is still undetermined and on other hand the input from nuclear physics requires the knowledge of properties of exotic nuclei, some of them perhaps accessible in ion beam facilities. Black hole accretion disks have been proposed as possible r-process sites. Analogously to Supernovae these objects emit huge amounts of neutrinos. We discuss the neutrino emission from black hole accretion disks. In particular we show the influence that the black hole strong gravitational field has on changing the electron fraction relevant to the synthesis of elements.Comment: 5 pages, 5 figures, Invited talk at the 15th International Symposium on Capture Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy and Related Topics (CGS15), to appear in EPJ Web of Conference

    The sensitivity of r-process nucleosynthesis to the properties of neutron-rich nuclei

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    About half of the heavy elements in the Solar System were created by rapid neutron capture, or r-process, nucleosynthesis. In the r-process, heavy elements are built up via a sequence of neutron captures and beta decays in which an intense neutron flux pushes material out towards the neutron drip line. The nuclear network simulations used to test potential astrophysical scenarios for the r-process therefore require nuclear physics data (masses, beta decay lifetimes, neutron capture rates, fission probabilities) for thousands of nuclei far from stability. Only a small fraction of this data has been experimentally measured. Here we discuss recent sensitivity studies that aim to determine the nuclei whose properties are most crucial for r-process calculations.Comment: 8 pages, 4 figures, submitted to the Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Fission and Properties of Neutron-Rich Nuclei (ICFN5

    Prospects for obtaining an r-process from Gamma Ray Burst Disk Winds

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    We discuss the possibility that r-process nucleosynthesis may occur in the winds from gamma ray burst accretion disks. This can happen if the temperature of the disk is sufficiently high that electron antineutrinos are trapped as well as neutrinos. This implies accretion disks with greater than a solar mass per second accretion rate, although lower accretion rates with higher black hole spin parameters may provide viable environments as well. Additionally, the outflow from the disk must either have relatively low entropy, e.g. around s = 10, or the initial acceleration of the wind must be slow enough that it is neutrino and antineutrino capture as opposed to electron and positron capture that sets the electron fraction.Comment: 8 pages, submitted to Nucl. Phys. A as part of the Nuclei in Cosmos 8 proceeding
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