Constraining ν-process production of fluorine through cosmic ray nucleosynthesis

Keith A. Olive, Elisabeth Vangioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fluorine is massive enough that it is not considered to be a light (Z ≤ 5) element, yet compared to its near neighbours, C, N, O, and Ne, it is far underproduced in the course of stellar evolution, making its origin more complex. In fact, the abundance of fluorine is the lowest among all elements between Z = 5 and 21 and is roughly 3-4 orders of magnitude below that of C, N, O, and Ne. There are several plausible sources for F beyond standard stellar evolution. These include the production in the asymptotic giant branch phase (AGB) in intermediate-mass stars, production in Wolf-Rayet stars, and the production through neutrino spallation in supernovae. The latter, known as the ν-process, is an important source for 11B, and may contribute to the abundance of 7Li as well. We combine a simple model of Galactic chemical evolution with a standard Galactic cosmic ray nucleosynthesis model to treat self-consistently the evolution of the Li, Be, and B isotopes. We include massive star production of F, as well as contributions from AGB stars, and the ν-process. Given the uncertainties in neutrino energies in supernovae, we normalize the ν-process using the observed 11B/10B ratio as a constraint. As a consequence, we are able to determine the relative importance of each contribution to the F abundance. We find that although the ν-process dominates at early times (low metallicity), the present-day F abundance is found to originate primarily from AGB stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4307-4316
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society


  • Abundances
  • Galaxies: ISM
  • ISM: abundances
  • Nucleosynthesis


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