The impact of nuclear masses near $N=82$ on $r$-process abundances

M. Mumpower, D. L. Fang, R. Surman, M. Beard, A. Aprahamian

arXiv (2014)

We have performed for the first time a complete $r$-process mass sensitivity study in the $N=82$ region. We take into account how an uncertainty in a single nuclear mass propagates to influence important quantities of neighboring nuclei, including Q-values and reaction rates. We demonstrate that nuclear mass uncertainties of $\pm0.5$ MeV in the $N=82$ region result in up to an order of magnitude local change in $r$-process abundance predictions. We identify key nuclei in the study whose mass has a substantial impact on final $r$-process abundances and could be measured at future radioactive beam facilities.