Neutrino-induced neutron spallation and supernova [Formula Presented]-process nucleosynthesis

Y. Z. Qian, W. C. Haxton, K. Langanke, P. Vogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


It is quite likely that the site of the r process is the hot, neutron-rich “bubble” that expands off a protoneutron star during a core-collapse supernova. The [Formula Presented] process would then occur in an intense flux of neutrinos. In order to explore the consequences of the neutrino irradiation, we calculate the rates of charged-current and neutral-current neutrino reactions on neutron-rich heavy nuclei, and estimate the average number of neutrons emitted in the resulting spallation. Our results suggest, for a dynamic [Formula Presented] process occurring in an expanding bubble, that charged-current [Formula Presented] captures might help shorten the time scale for the [Formula Presented] process, bringing it into better accord with our expectations about the conditions in the hot bubble: neutrino reactions can be important in breaking through the waiting-point nuclei at [Formula Presented] and 82, while still allowing the formation of abundance peaks. Furthermore, after the [Formula Presented] process freezes out, there appear to be distinctive neutral-current and charged-current postprocessing effects. These include a spreading of the abundance peaks and damping of the most pronounced features (e.g., peaks and valleys) in the unpostprocessed abundance distribution. Most importantly, a subtraction of the neutrino postprocessing effects from the observed solar [Formula Presented]-process abundance distribution shows that two mass regions, [Formula Presented]–126 and 183–187, are inordinately sensitive to neutrino postprocessing effects. This imposes very stringent bounds on the freeze-out radii and dynamic time scales governing the [Formula Presented] process. Moreover, we find that the abundance patterns within these mass windows are entirely consistent with synthesis by neutrino interactions. This strongly argues that the [Formula Presented] process must occur in the intense neutrino flux provided by a core-collapse supernova. It also greatly restricts dynamic models for the supernova [Formula Presented]-process nucleosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1532-1544
Number of pages13
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997


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