Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 97–106 | Cite as

Nuclear reactions on accreting neutron star surface

  • K. Duorah
  • H. L. Duorah


The production of X-rays and gamma-rays in bursts is believed to be due to the rapid burning of matter accreted onto a neutron star surface from its companion, most probably a giant star. The accreted matter consists mainly of hydrogen and helium and a very small amount of heavy elements. Due to the infall of matter, the temperature at the bottom layers is raised to a value of the order of 108 K. The neutron star surface density is>107 g cm−3. As hydrogen burning is a slow process under any temperature and density conditions, we consider the helium-burning reactions as the source of gamma-rays in the neutron star surface. Under high-density conditions the ordinary laboratory reaction rates should become modified. At high-density conditions, the strong screening effect due to the polarising cloud of electrons around the ions become important and enhances the reaction rates considerably. The helium-burning reactions are calculated under such conditions. The abundances of helium-burning products such as12C, 116O, and20Ne, etc., are computed. Under high-density and temperature conditions carbon is found to be more abundant than oxygen. Neon is completely absent in almost all the relevant physical conditions in which a strong screening effect is operative. It is suggested that explosive burning of accreted helium of 10−13M will account for the observed energy of gamm-ray burst.


Burning Explosive Neon Nuclear Reaction Density Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ayasli, S. and Joss, P. C.: 1982,Astrophys. J. 256, 637.Google Scholar
  2. Cameron, A. G. W.: 1957,Stellar Evolution, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Nucleogenesis, Chalk River Report CRL41.Google Scholar
  3. Duorah, H. L.: 1962,Prog. Theoret. Phys. 28, 585.Google Scholar
  4. Duorah, K., Duorah, H. L., and Zaman, A. E. K.: 1976:J. Assam Sci. Soc. 19, 31.Google Scholar
  5. Giacconi, R., Gursky, H., Kellog, E., Schreier, E. J. and Tananbaum, H.: 1971,Astrophys. J. 167, L67.Google Scholar
  6. Hansen, C. J. and Van Horn, H. M.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 191, 479.Google Scholar
  7. Hayakawa, S., Hayashi, C., Imoto, H., and Kikuchi, K.: 1956,Prog. Theoret. Phys. 16, 507.Google Scholar
  8. Hoyle, F. 1954,Astrophys. J. Suppl. 5, 121.Google Scholar
  9. Itoh, N., Totsuji, H., and Ichimaru, S.: 1977,Astrophys. J. 218, 324.Google Scholar
  10. Jancovici, J.: 1977,J. Stat. Phys. 17, 357.Google Scholar
  11. Joss, P. C.: 1977,Nature (London) 270, 310.Google Scholar
  12. Joss, P. C.: 1978,Astrophys. J. 225, L123.Google Scholar
  13. Joss, P. C. and Li, F. K.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 238, 287.Google Scholar
  14. Mazets, E. P., Golenetskii, S. V., Il'mskii, V. N., Aptekar, R. L., and Guruyan, Yu. A.: 1980,Nature (London) 282, 587.Google Scholar
  15. Nakagawa, K., Obmura, T., Takebe, H., and Obi, S.: 1956,Progr. Theoret. Phys. 16, 389.Google Scholar
  16. Ramaty, R. and Lingenfelter, R. E.: 1982,Ann. Rev. Nucl. Particle Sci. 32, 235.Google Scholar
  17. Ruderman, M.: 1977, Private communication.Google Scholar
  18. Salpeter, E. E.: 1954,Australian J. Phys. 7, 343.Google Scholar
  19. Salpeter, R. E. and Van Horn, H. M.: 1969,Astrophys. J. 155, 183.Google Scholar
  20. Taam, R. E.: 1980,Astrophys. J. 241, 358.Google Scholar
  21. Taam, R. E.: 1982,Astrophys. J. 258, 761.Google Scholar
  22. Taam, R. E. and Picklum, R. E.: 1979,Astrophys. J. 233, 327.Google Scholar
  23. Van Horn, H. M. and Hansen, C. J.: 1975,Astrophys. J. 191, 479.Google Scholar
  24. Woosley, S. E. and Taam, R. E.: 1976,Nature 263, 101.Google Scholar
  25. Zimmerman, B. A., Fowler, W. A., and Caughlan, G. R.: 1975, California Institute of Technology preprint, OAP-399.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Duorah
    • 1
  • H. L. Duorah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsGauhati UniversityAssamIndia

Personalised recommendations