About this Research Topic
The most of the elements present in the Universe are formed through nuclear fusions among charged nuclei and nuclear/neutron captures on nuclides in stellar cores; the fusion energies are well below the Coulomb barrier for reactions among charged particles. Moreover some reactions involve weak interactions with a consequent strong reduction of the reaction rate. Thus the measurement of cross sections at astrophysical interest is a challenge which requires the installation of the detectors underground to reduce the background due to cosmic rays and the development of “ad hoc” detection methods. Moreover suitable formalism for nuclear astrophysics calculations must be developed.
Nuclear astrophysics is an inter-disciplinary field which connects astrophysics (mainly stellar physics and cosmological nucleosynthesis) to experimental techniques of low energy cross section measurements and nuclear physics theory. In the last two decades the measurements/calculations of many cross sections of astrophysical interest have been greatly improved, however in several cases the still present uncertainties affect in a not negligible (or in some cases in a severe) way, the predictions for stellar characteristics and element nucleosynthesis.
This Research Topic summarizes the present situation for research fields in which the sinergy between nuclear physics and astrophysics is especially evident. In details it will cover the fundamental topics listed below; other interesting arguments can be added at the suggestion of the authors:
1. Nuclear reaction rates and primordial nucleosynthesis
2. Nuclear reactions and standard solar models
3. Massive star modeling and nucleosynthesis
4. H burning phases and nuclear fusion cross sections
5. Nucleosynthesis in advanced evolutionary phases
6. Nucleosynthesis in compact stars (novae, kilonovae, etc..)
7. Fusion cross sections and stellar abundances of light elements
8. Direct measurements of nuclear cross sections
9. Transfer reactions in nuclear astrophysics
10. Indirect methods in nuclear astrophysics
11. Theoretical approaches for nuclear astrophysics
The aim of the Reseach Topic is manyfold: 1) to made available to people who adopt theoretical stellar e/o nucleosynthesis models an evaluations of the still present theoretical uncertainties due to errors in nuclear cross sections. These uncertainties will be also compared to the ones due to the indetermination on other input quantities for models. 2) To summarize the “status of art” of the experimental measurements for nuclear cross sections relevant for stellar physics and primordial nucleosynthesis. 3) to focus on the synergic efforts driven by direct and indirect methods in nuclear astrophysics in order to measure cross sections of astrophysical interest at the Gamow energies. This is of great importance for reaction induced on stable nuclei (like the ones which
are dealt with in this work) and is the only way for understanding explosive nucleosynthesis (mainly driven by reactions on unstable nuclei interacting with charged particles or neutrons).
Keywords: stars: evolution, stars: abundances, cosmology: primordial nucleasynthesis, nuclear reaction: models and methods, nuclear reactions: direct and inverse reactions
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