The sensitivity of $r$-process nucleosynthesis to the properties of neutron-rich nuclei
R. Surman, M. Mumpower, J. Cass, A. Aprahamian
Published ICFN5 (2013)
About half of the heavy elements in the Solar System were created by rapid neutron capture, or r-process, nucleosynthesis. In the r-process, heavy elements are built up via a sequence of neutron captures and beta decays in which an intense neutron flux pushes material out towards the neutron drip line. The nuclear network simulations used to test potential astrophysical scenarios for the r-process therefore require nuclear physics data (masses, beta decay lifetimes, neutron capture rates, fission probabilities) for thousands of nuclei far from stability. Only a small fraction of this data has been experimentally measured. Here we discuss recent sensitivity studies that aim to determine the nuclei whose properties are most crucial for r-process calculations.