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Title: On the synthesis of heavy nuclei in protomagnetar outflows and implications for ultra-high energy cosmic rays

It has been suggested that strongly magnetized and rapidly rotating protoneutron stars (PNSs) may produce long duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) originating from stellar core collapse. We explore the steady-state properties and heavy element nucleosynthesis in neutrino-driven winds from such PNSs whose magnetic axis is generally misaligned with the axis of rotation. We consider a wide variety of central engine properties such as surface dipole field strength, initial rotation period, and magnetic obliquity to show that heavy element nuclei can be synthesized in the radially expanding wind. This process is facilitated provided the outflow is Poynting-flux dominated such that its low entropy and fast expansion time-scale enables heavy nuclei to form in a more efficient manner as compared to the equivalent thermal GRB outflows. We also examine the acceleration and survival of these heavy nuclei and show that they can reach sufficiently high energies ≳ 1020 eV within the same physical regions that are also responsible for powering gamma-ray emission, primarily through magnetic dissipation processes. Although these magnetized outflows generally fail to achieve the production of elements heavier than lanthanides for our explored electron fraction range 0.4–0.6, we show that they are more than capable of synthesizing nuclei near and beyond more » iron peak elements.

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Award ID(s):
1914409 1908960 2108467 2108466 1908689
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 6011-6024
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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