The discovery of gravitational waves has confirmed old theoretical predictions that binary systems formed with compact stars play a crucial role not only for cosmology and nuclear astrophysics . As a byproduct of these and subsequent observations, it is now clear that neutron-star mergers can be a competitive site for the production of half of the elements heavier than iron in the Universe following a sequence of fast neutron capture reactions known as the r process. In this article we discuss an effect which has been so far neglected in calculations of r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers. We show that the corrections due to the neutron environment even at relatively small neutron densities, within the bounds of numerical hydrodynamical simulations of neutron star mergers and after the onset of the r process, are non-negligible and need to be taken into account to accurately describe the elemental abundance as determined by observations.
|Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
|Published - Sept 2020
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics