The influence of neutron capture rates in the rare earth region of the $r$-process abundance pattern

M. Mumpower, G. C. McLaughlin, R. Surman

Phys. Rev. C, 86 035803 (2012)

We study the sensitivity of the $r$-process abundance pattern to neutron capture rates along the rare earth region ($A\sim150$ to $A\sim180$). We introduce the concepts of large nuclear flow and flow saturation which determine the neutron capture rates that are influential in setting the rare earth abundances. We illustrate the value of the two concepts by considering high entropy conditions favorable for rare earth peak production and identifying important neutron capture rates among the rare earth isotopes. We also show how these rates influence nuclear flow and specific sections of the abundance pattern.