Nuclear Structure and the rp-Process in X-Ray Bursts
Nuclear Astrophysics is concerned with the study of nuclear processes at stellar temperature and density conditions and its influence on nucleosynthesis and energy generation in stars and stellar explosions. Detailed understanding of nuclear processes and improved observational data allow a highly sophisticated analysis of the hydrodynamic conditions in static and dynamic stellar processes. In my talk I will concentrate on one particular nucleosynthesis scenario, the explosive hydrogen burning which is associated with accretion processes on the surface of a neutron star. These events have been observed over the last ten years as X-ray bursts. The nuclear processes driving the explosion are characterized by a sequence of fast proton capture reactions and subsequent ß-decays near the proton drip line up to Z≈50. I will show how the nuclear structure characteristics along the process path determines the ignition and the timescale of the explosion and how it influences the luminosity curve of the burst and the subsequent abundance distribution in the crust of the neutron star. I summarize the present need for reaction and structure data for neutron deficient isotopes necessary for a better interpretation of the characteristics of X-ray bursts.
KeywordsNeutron Star Isomeric State Cooling Phase Effective Lifetime Proton Drip Line
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