Precision mass measurements of neutron-rich neodymium and samarium isotopes and their role in understanding rare-earth peak formation

R. Orford, N. Vassh, J. Clark, G. C. McLaughlin, M. Mumpower, G. Savard, R. Surman, A. Aprahamian, F. Buchinger, M. T. Burkey, D. A. Gorelov, T. Y. Hirsh, J. W. Klimes, G. E. Morgan, A. Nystrom, K. S. Sharma

Published PRL 120, 262702 (2018)

The Canadian Penning Trap mass spectrometer at CARIBU was used to measure the masses of eight neutron-rich isotopes of Nd and Sm. These measurements are the first to push into the region of nuclear masses relevant to the formation of the rare-earth abundance peak at A$\sim$165 by the rapid neutron-capture process. We compare our results with theoretical predictions obtained from ``reverse-engineering'' the mass surface that best reproduces the observed solar abundances in this region through a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique. Our measured masses are consistent with the reverse-engineering predictions for a neutron star merger wind scenario.



nuclear masses r-process reverse engineering

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