x-ray bursts are identified as thermonuclear explosions in the outer atmosphere of accreting neutron stars. The thermonuclear runaway is fueled by the αp process that describes a sequence of (α,p) reactions triggered by the Ne18(α,p)Na21 breakout reaction from the hot CNO cycles. We studied the level structure of the compound nucleus Mg22 by measuring the Mg24(p,t)Mg22 reaction at the Grand Raiden spectrometer at Research Center for Nuclear Physics, Osaka. A large number of α-unbound states was identified and precise excitation energies were determined. Based on shell model and α-cluster model calculations we predict the level parameters for determining the stellar reaction rate of Ne18(α,p)Na21 for a wide temperature range. x-ray burst simulations have been performed to study the impact of the reaction on the x-ray burst luminosity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics