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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The observation of X-rays during quiescence from transiently accreting neutron stars provides unique clues about the nature of dense matter. This, however, requires extensive modeling of the crusts and matching the results to observations. The pycnonuclear fusion reaction rates implemented in these models are theoretically calculated by extending phenomenological expressions and have large uncertainties spanning many orders of magnitude. We present the first sensitivity studies of these pycnonuclear fusion reactions in realistic network calculations. We also couple the reaction network with the thermal evolution codedStarto further study their impact on the neutron star cooling curves in quiescence. Varying the pycnonuclear fusion reaction rates alters the depth at which nuclear heat is deposited although the total heating remains constant. The enhancement of the pycnonuclear fusion reaction rates leads to an overall shallower deposition of nuclear heat. The impurity factors are also altered depending on the type of ashes deposited on the crust. These total changes correspond to a variation of up to 9 eV in the modeled cooling curves. While this is not sufficient to explain the shallow heat source, it is comparable to the observational uncertainties and can still be important for modeling the neutron star crust.

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  3. Abstract The interplay and correlation between the $$^{22}$$ 22 Ne $$(\alpha ,\gamma )^{26}$$ ( α , γ ) 26 Mg and the competing $$^{22}$$ 22 Ne $$(\alpha ,n)^{25}$$ ( α , n ) 25 Mg reaction plays an important role for the interpretation of the $$^{22}$$ 22 Ne $$(\alpha ,n)^{25}$$ ( α , n ) 25 Mg reaction as a neutron source in the s - and n -processes. This paper provides a summary and new data on the $$\alpha $$ α -cluster and single-particle structure of the compound nucleus $$^{26}$$ 26 Mg and the impact on the reaction rate of these two competing processes in stellar helium burning environments. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  4. The typical energy range for charge particle interactions in stellar plasmas corresponds to a few 10s or 100s of keV. At these low energies, the cross sections are so vanishingly small that they cannot be measured directly with accelerator based experimental techniques. Thus, indirect studies of the compound structure near the threshold are used in the framework of reaction models to complement the direct data in order to extrapolate the cross section into the low energy regime. However, at the extremely small cross sections of interest, there maybe other quantum effects that modify the such extracted cross section. These may result from additional nuclear interactions associated with the threshold itself or could be due to other processes, such as electron screening. Measurements in plasma environments like at the OMEGA or National Ignition Facility facilities offer an entirely new set of experimental conditions for studying these types of reactions, often directly at the energies of interest. In this paper, we examine three reaction, 10 B( p , α ) 7 Be, 12 C( p , γ ) 13 N and 14 N( p , γ ) 15 O, which have all been measured at very low energies using accelerator based methods. All three reactions produce relatively long-lived radioactive nuclei, which can be collected and analyzed at plasma facilities using a variety of collection and identification techniques. 
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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2024