Calculation of Beta-decay Rates in Heavy Deformed Nuclei and Implications for the Astrophysical r Process Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Shafer, Thomas
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Abstract
  • The rapid neutron-capture process (r process) is responsible for synthesizing approximately half of the heavy elements in the solar system, but after decades of work the astrophysical site where it occurs is unknown. Because a very large number of heavy, neutron-rich nuclei are populated during the r process, theoretical efforts to locate the r-process site require a tremendous amount of nuclear physics input. However, most nuclei populated during the r process are very neutron-rich and unstable, and many r-process nuclei cannot be studied experimentally. As a result, the basic properties of a large number of heavy, deformed, short-lived nuclei must be calculated with reliable nuclear models. β-decay half-lives are among the most important properties that affect r-process abundances. In this work we present a new, efficient method for calculating β-decay half-lives of heavy, deformed nuclei: the proton-neutron finite amplitude method (pnFAM). We apply the pnFAM to calculate half-lives of nuclei that demonstrate the strongest effects on r-process abundances in the A≃80 and A≃160 mass regions, including even-even, odd-A, and odd-odd nuclei. We find that our calculations result in half-lives very similar to those reported in previous studies, with correspondingly small effects on r-process abundances.
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DOI
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Evans, Charles
  • Fröhlich, Carla
  • Engel, Jonathan
  • Wilkerson, John
  • Iliadis, Christian
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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