The origin of the heavy elements: Recent progress in the understanding of the r-process

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Abstract

There has been significant progress in the understanding of the r-process over the last ten years. The conditions required for this process have been examined in terms of the parameters for adiabatic expansion from high temperature and density. There have been many developments regarding core-collapse supernova and neutron star merger models of the r-process. Meteoritic data and observations of metal-poor stars have demonstrated the diversity of r-process sources. Stellar observations have also found some regularity in r-process abundance patterns and large dispersions in r-process abundances at low metallicities. This review summarizes the recent results from parametric studies, astrophysical models, and observational studies of the r-process. The interplay between nuclear physics and astrophysics is emphasized. Some suggestions for future theoretical, experimental, and observational studies of the r-process are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-199
Number of pages47
JournalProgress in Particle and Nuclear Physics
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I would like to thank Al Cameron, George Fuller, Wick Haxton, Karlheinz Langanke. Friedel Thiele-mann, Petr Vogel, Jerry Wasserburg, and Stan Woosley for enriching my education regarding the r-process. Comments by the two referees (one being Friedel Thielemann), Jerry Wasserburg, and Stan Woosley have greatly improved this review. I deeply appreciate the indulgence from the editor, Professor Amand Faessler. This work was supported in part by the US Department of Energy under grants DE-FG02-87ER40328 and DE-FGO2-OOER41149.

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