Nuclear Physics of Stars / Edition 1

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Most elements are synthesized, or "cooked", by thermonuclear reactions in stars. The newly formed elements are released into the interstellar medium during a star's lifetime, and are subsequently incorporated into a new generation of stars, into the planets that form around the stars, and into the life forms that originate on the planets. Moreover, the energy we depend on for life originates from nuclear reactions that occur at the center of the Sun. Synthesis of the elements and nuclear energy production in stars are the topics of nuclear astrophysics, which is the subject of this book. It presents nuclear structure and reactions, thermonuclear reaction rates, experimental nuclear methods, and nucleosynthesis in detail. These topics are discussed in a coherent way, enabling the reader to grasp their interconnections intuitively. The book serves both as a textbook for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, with worked examples and end-of-chapter excercises, but also as a reference book for use by researchers working in the field of nuclear astrophysics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This well-priced book's ability to both spark and feed readers' interest in astrophysics makes it an effective teaching resource and a valuable addition…" (CHOICE, December 2007)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783527406029
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/11/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 680
  • Product dimensions: 6.63 (w) x 9.65 (h) x 1.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Christian Iliadis is Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a nuclear astrophysicist at the Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory. He received the prestigious University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2014.
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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition XI

Preface to the First Edition XIII

1 Aspects of Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics 1

1.1 History 1

1.2 Nomenclature 2

1.3 Solar System Abundances 4

1.4 Astrophysical Aspects 7

1.4.1 General Considerations 7

1.4.2 Hertzsprung–Russell Diagram 9

1.4.3 Stellar Evolution of Single Stars 11

1.4.4 Binary Stars 26

1.5 Masses, Binding Energies, Nuclear Reactions, and Related Topics 33

1.5.1 Nuclear Mass and Binding Energy 33

1.5.2 Energetics of Nuclear Reactions 35

1.5.3 Atomic Mass and Mass Excess 37

1.5.4 Number Abundance, Mass Fraction, and Mole Fraction 40

1.5.5 Decay Constant, Mean Lifetime, and Half-Life 41

1.6 Nuclear Shell Model 42

1.6.1 Closed Shells and Magic Numbers 43

1.6.2 Nuclear Structure and Nucleon Configuration 46

1.7 Nuclear Excited States and Electromagnetic Transitions 48

1.7.1 Energy, Angular Momentum, and Parity 48

1.7.2 Transition Probabilities 49

1.7.3 Branching Ratio and Mixing Ratio 52

1.7.4 γ-Ray Transitions in a Stellar Plasma 53

1.7.5 Isomeric States and the Case of 26Al 54

1.8 Weak Interaction 57

1.8.1 Weak Interaction Processes 58

1.8.2 Energetics 59

1.8.3 β-Decay Probabilities 61

1.8.4 β-Decays in a Stellar Plasma 66

Problems 71

2 Nuclear Reactions 73

2.1 Cross Sections 73

2.2 Reciprocity Theorem 75

2.3 Elastic Scattering and Method of Partial Waves 77

2.3.1 General Aspects 77

2.3.2 Relationship Between Differential Cross Section and Scattering Amplitude 79

2.3.3 The Free Particle 79

2.3.4 Turning the Potential On 81

2.3.5 Scattering Amplitude and Elastic Scattering Cross Section 82

2.3.6 Reaction Cross Section 83

2.4 Scattering by Simple Potentials 86

2.4.1 Square-Well Potential 86

2.4.2 Square-Barrier Potential 93

2.4.3 Transmission Through the Coulomb Barrier 100

2.5 Theory of Resonances 103

2.5.1 General Aspects 103

2.5.2 Logarithmic Derivative, Phase Shift, and Cross Section 105

2.5.3 Breit–Wigner Formulas 108

2.5.4 Extension to Charged Particles and Arbitrary Values of Orbital Angular Momentum 112

2.5.5 R-Matrix Theory 117

2.5.6 Experimental Tests of the One-Level Breit–Wigner Formula 120

2.5.7 Partial and Reduced Widths 124

2.6 Continuum Theory 131

2.7 Hauser–Feshbach Theory 133

Problems 137

3 Thermonuclear Reactions 139

3.1 Cross Sections and Reaction Rates 139

3.1.1 Particle-Induced Reactions 139

3.1.2 Photon-Induced Reactions 142

3.1.3 Abundance Evolution 144

3.1.4 Forward and Reverse Reactions 147

3.1.5 Reaction Rates at Elevated Temperatures 150

3.1.6 Reaction Rate Equilibria 156

3.1.7 Nuclear Energy Generation 161

3.2 Nonresonant and Resonant Thermonuclear Reaction Rates 162

3.2.1 Nonresonant Reaction Rates for Charged-Particle-Induced Reactions 163

3.2.2 Nonresonant Reaction Rates for Neutron-Induced Reactions 177

3.2.3 Nonresonant Reaction Rates for Photon-Induced Reactions 180

3.2.4 Narrow-Resonance Reaction Rates 181

3.2.5 Broad-Resonance Reaction Rates 192

3.2.6 Electron Screening 197

3.2.7 Total Reaction Rates 201

Problems 205

4 Nuclear Physics Experiments 207

4.1 General Aspects 207

4.1.1 Charged-Particle Beams 208

4.1.2 Neutron Beams 210

4.2 Interaction of Radiation with Matter 212

4.2.1 Interactions of Heavy Charged Particles 213

4.2.2 Interactions of Photons 223

4.2.3 Interactions of Neutrons 230

4.3 Targets and Related Equipment 234

4.3.1 Backings 234

4.3.2 Target Preparation 235

4.3.3 Contaminants 240

4.3.4 Target Chamber and Holder 241

4.4 Radiation Detectors 243

4.4.1 General Aspects 243

4.4.2 Semiconductor Detectors 246

4.4.3 Scintillation Detectors 250

4.4.4 Proportional Counters 255

4.4.5 Microchannel Plate Detectors 256

4.5 Nuclear Spectroscopy 256

4.5.1 Charged-Particle Spectroscopy 257

4.5.2 γ-Ray Spectroscopy 262

4.5.3 Neutron Spectroscopy 280

4.6 Miscellaneous Experimental Techniques 284

4.6.1 Radioactive Ion Beams 285

4.6.2 Activation Method 290

4.6.3 Time-of-Flight Technique 293

4.7 Background Radiation 295

4.7.1 General Aspects 296

4.7.2 Background in Charged-Particle Detector Spectra 298

4.7.3 Background in γ-Ray Detector Spectra 301

4.7.4 Background in Neutron Detector Spectra 309

4.8 Yields and Cross Sections for Charged-Particle-Induced Reactions 311

4.8.1 Nonresonant and Resonant Yields 312

4.8.2 General Treatment of Yield Curves 319

4.8.3 Measured Yield Curves and Excitation Functions 325

4.8.4 Determination of Absolute Resonance Strengths and Cross Sections 328

4.9 Transmissions, Yields, and Cross Sections for Neutron-Induced Reactions 337

4.9.1 Resonance Transmission 338

4.9.2 Resonant and Nonresonant Yields 339

4.9.3 Effective Cross Section 340

4.9.4 Measured Yields and Transmissions 341

4.9.5 Relative and Absolute Cross Sections 343

Problems 346

5 Nuclear Burning Stages and Processes 349

5.1 Hydrostatic Hydrogen Burning 353

5.1.1 pp Chains 353

5.1.2 CNO Cycles 369

5.1.3 Hydrostatic Hydrogen Burning Beyond the CNO Mass Region 383

5.2 Hydrostatic Helium Burning 389

5.2.1 Helium-Burning Reactions 391

5.2.2 Nucleosynthesis During Hydrostatic He Burning 397

5.2.3 Other Helium-Burning Reactions 399

5.3 Advanced Burning Stages 400

5.3.1 Carbon Burning 400

5.3.2 Neon Burning 407

5.3.3 Oxygen Burning 412

5.3.4 Silicon Burning 420

5.3.5 Nuclear Statistical Equilibrium 432

5.4 Explosive Burning in Core-Collapse Supernovae (Type II, Ib,Ic) 438

5.4.1 Core Collapse and the Role of Neutrinos 438

5.4.2 ν- and νp-Processes 441

5.4.3 Explosive Nucleosynthesis 443

5.4.4 Observations 451

5.5 Explosive Burning Involving Binary Stars 452

5.5.1 Explosive Burning in Thermonuclear Supernovae (Type Ia) 452

5.5.2 Explosive Hydrogen Burning and Classical Novae 460

5.5.3 Explosive Hydrogen-Helium Burning and Type I X-Ray Bursts 479

5.6 Nucleosynthesis Beyond the Iron Peak 501

5.6.1 The s-Process 505

5.6.2 The r-Process 522

5.6.3 The p-Process 542

5.7 Non-stellar Processes 553

5.7.1 Big Bang Nucleosynthesis 553

5.7.2 Cosmic-Ray Nucleosynthesis 559

5.8 Origin of the Nuclides 564

Problems 566

Appendix A Solutions of the Schrödinger Equation in Three Dimensions 569

A.1 Zero Orbital Angular Momentum and Constant Potential 571

A.2 Arbitrary Orbital Angular Momentum and Zero Potential 571

A.3 Arbitrary Orbital Angular Momentum and Coulomb Potential 572

Appendix B Quantum Mechanical Selection Rules 573

Appendix C Kinematics 579

C.1 Relationship of Kinematic Quantities in the Laboratory Coordinate System 579

C.2 Transformation Between Laboratory and Center-of-Mass Coordinate System 583

Appendix D Angular Correlations 587

D.1 General Aspects 588

D.2 Pure Radiations in a Two-Step Process 591

D.3 Mixed Radiations in a Two-Step Process 593

D.4 Three-Step Process with Unobserved Intermediate Radiation 598

D.5 Experimental Considerations 600

D.6 Concluding Remarks 602

Appendix E Constants, Data, Units, and Notation 605

E.1 Physical Constants and Data 605

E.2 Mathematical Expressions 606

E.3 Prefixes and Units 607

E.4 Physical Quantities 608

Color Plates 613

References 627

Index 639

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