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  1. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The abundances of neutron (n)-capture elements in the carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP)-r/s stars agree with predictions of intermediate n-density nucleosynthesis, at Nn ∼ 1013–1015 cm−3, in rapidly accreting white dwarfs (RAWDs). We have performed Monte Carlo simulations of this intermediate-process (i-process) nucleosynthesis to determine the impact of (n,γ) reaction rate uncertainties of 164 unstable isotopes, from 131I to 189Hf, on the predicted abundances of 18 elements from Ba to W. The impact study is based on two representative one-zone models with constant values of Nn = 3.16 × 1014 and 3.16 × 1013 cm−3 and on a multizone model based on a realistic stellar evolution simulation ofmore »He-shell convection entraining H in a RAWD model with [Fe/H] = −2.6. For each of the selected elements, we have identified up to two (n,γ) reactions having the strongest correlations between their rate variations constrained by Hauser–Feshbach computations and the predicted abundances, with the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients |rP| > 0.15. We find that the discrepancies between the predicted and observed abundances of Ba and Pr in the CEMP-i star CS 31062−050 are significantly diminished if the rate of 137Cs(n,γ)138Cs is reduced and the rates of 141Ba(n,γ)142Ba or 141La(n,γ)142La increased. The uncertainties of temperature-dependent β-decay rates of the same unstable isotopes have a negligible effect on the predicted abundances. One-zone Monte Carlo simulations can be used instead of computationally time-consuming multizone Monte Carlo simulations in reaction rate uncertainty studies if they use comparable values of Nn. We discuss the key challenges that RAWD simulations of i process for CEMP-i stars meet by contrasting them with recently published low-Z asymptotic giant branch (AGB) i process.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We have modelled the multicycle evolution of rapidly accreting CO white dwarfs (RAWDs) with stable H burning intermittent with strong He-shell flashes on their surfaces for 0.7 ≤ MRAWD/M⊙ ≤ 0.75 and [Fe/H] ranging from 0 to −2.6. We have also computed the i-process nucleosynthesis yields for these models. The i process occurs when convection driven by the He-shell flash ingests protons from the accreted H-rich surface layer, which results in maximum neutron densities Nn, max ≈ 1013–1015 cm−3. The H-ingestion rate and the convective boundary mixing (CBM) parameter ftop adopted in the one-dimensional nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution models aremore »constrained through three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamic simulations. The mass ingestion rate and, for the first time, the scaling laws for the CBM parameter ftop have been determined from 3D hydrodynamic simulations. We confirm our previous result that the high-metallicity RAWDs have a low mass retention efficiency ($\eta \lesssim 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$). A new result is that RAWDs with [Fe/H] $\lesssim -2$ have $\eta \gtrsim 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$; therefore, their masses may reach the Chandrasekhar limit and they may eventually explode as SNeIa. This result and the good fits of the i-process yields from the metal-poor RAWDs to the observed chemical composition of the CEMP-r/s stars suggest that some of the present-day CEMP-r/s stars could be former distant members of triple systems, orbiting close binary systems with RAWDs that may have later exploded as SNeIa.« less

    Several anomalous elemental abundance ratios have been observed in the metal-poor star HD94028. We assume that its high [As/Ge] ratio is a product of a weak intermediate (i) neutron-capture process. Given that observational errors are usually smaller than predicted nuclear physics uncertainties, we have first set-up a benchmark one-zone i-process nucleosynthesis simulation results of which provide the best fit to the observed abundances. We have then performed Monte Carlo simulations in which 113 relevant (n,γ) reaction rates of unstable species were randomly varied within Hauser–Feshbach model uncertainty ranges for each reaction to estimate the impact on the predicted stellarmore »abundances. One of the interesting results of these simulations is a double-peaked distribution of the As abundance, which is caused by the variation of the 75Ga (n,γ) cross-section. This variation strongly anticorrelates with the predicted As abundance, confirming the necessity for improved theoretical or experimental bounds on this cross-section. The 66Ni (n,γ) reaction is found to behave as a major bottleneck for the i-process nucleosynthesis. Our analysis finds the Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient rP > 0.2 for all of the i-process elements with 32 ≤ Z ≤ 42, with significant changes in their predicted abundances showing up when the rate of this reaction is reduced to its theoretically constrained lower bound. Our results are applicable to any other stellar nucleosynthesis site with the similar i-process conditions, such as Sakurai’s object (V4334 Sagittarii) or rapidly accreting white dwarfs.

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