Spallation of r-Process Nuclei Ejected from a Neutron Star Merger

X. Wang, B. D. Fields, M. Mumpower, T. M. Sprouse, R. Surman, N. Vassh

Published NPA-IX proceedings (2020)

Neutron star mergers (NSMs) are rapid neutron capture (r-process) nucleosynthesis sites, which eject materials at high velocities, from 0.1c to as high as 0.6c. Thus the r-process nuclei ejected from a NSM event are sufficiently energetic to initiate spallation reactions with the interstellar medium (ISM) particles. With a thick-target model for the propagation of high-speed heavy nuclei in the ISM, we find that spallation reactions may shift the r-process abundance patterns towards solar data, particularly around the low-mass edges of the r-process peaks where neighboring nuclei have very different abundances. The spallation effects depend both on the astrophysical conditions of the r-process nuclei and nuclear physics inputs for the nucleosynthesis calculations and the propagation process. This work extends that of [Wang et al.(2019)] by focusing on the influence of nuclear physics variations on spallation effects.

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