The study of the origin of heavy elements is one of the main goals of nuclear astrophysics. In this paper, we present new observational data for the heavy r-process elements gadolinium (Gd, Z= 64), dysprosium (Dy, Z= 66), and thorium (Th, Z= 90) in a sample of 276 Galactic disc stars (–1.0 < [Fe/H] < + 0.3). The stellar spectra have a high resolution of 42 000 and 75 000, and the signal-to-noise ratio higher than 100. The LTE abundances of Gd, Dy, and Th have been determined by comparing the observed and synthetic spectra for three Gd lines (149 stars), four Dy lines (152 stars), and the Th line at 4019.13 Å (170 stars). For about 70 per cent of the stars in our sample, Gd and Dy are measured for the first time, and Th for 95 per cent of the stars. Typical errors vary from 0.07 to 0.16 dex. This paper provides the first extended set of Th observations in the Milky Way disc. Together with europium (Eu, Z= 63) data from our previous studies, we have compared these new observations with nucleosynthesis predictions and Galactic Chemical Evolution simulations. We confirm that [Gd/Fe] and [Dy/Fe] show the same behaviour of Eu. We study with GCE simulationsmore »
Nuclear astrophysics is a field at the intersection of nuclear physics and astrophysics, which seeks to understand the nuclear engines of astronomical objects and the origin of the chemical elements. This white paper summarizes progress and status of the field, the new open questions that have emerged, and the tremendous scientific opportunities that have opened up with major advances in capabilities across an ever growing number of disciplines and subfields that need to be integrated. We take a holistic view of the field discussing the unique challenges and opportunities in nuclear astrophysics in regards to science, diversity, education, and the interdisciplinarity and breadth of the field. Clearly nuclear astrophysics is a dynamic field with a bright future that is entering a new era of discovery opportunities.
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- Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
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- Article No. 110502
- IOP Publishing
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- National Science Foundation
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