Discovery of an Exceptionally Strong β -Decay Transition of 20F and Implications for the Fate of Intermediate-Mass Stars

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  • O. S. Kirsebom, Dalhousie University
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  • S. Jones, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS GmbH)
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  • D. F. Strömberg, Technische Universität Darmstadt, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
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  • G. Martínez-Pinedo, Technische Universität Darmstadt, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
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  • K. Langanke, Technische Universität Darmstadt, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
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  • F. K. Röpke, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS GmbH), Universität Heidelberg
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  • B. A. Brown, Michigan State University
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  • T. Eronen, University of Jyväskylä
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  • H. O.U. Fynbo
  • M. Hukkanen, University of Jyväskylä
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  • A. Idini, Lund University
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  • A. Jokinen, University of Jyväskylä
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  • A. Kankainen, University of Jyväskylä
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  • J. Kostensalo, University of Jyväskylä
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  • I. Moore, University of Jyväskylä
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  • H. Möller, Technische Universität Darmstadt, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung
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  • S. T. Ohlmann, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS GmbH), Max Planck Computing and Data Facility
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  • H. Penttilä, University of Jyväskylä
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  • K. Riisager
  • S. Rinta-Antila, University of Jyväskylä
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  • P. C. Srivastava, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
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  • J. Suhonen, University of Jyväskylä
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  • W. H. Trzaska, University of Jyväskylä
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  • J. Äystö, University of Jyväskylä

A significant fraction of stars between 7 and 11 solar masses are thought to become supernovae, but the explosion mechanism is unclear. The answer depends critically on the rate of electron capture on Ne20 in the degenerate oxygen-neon stellar core. However, because of the unknown strength of the transition between the ground states of Ne20 and F20, it has not previously been possible to fully constrain the rate. By measuring the transition, we establish that its strength is exceptionally large and that it enhances the capture rate by several orders of magnitude. This has a decisive impact on the evolution of the core, increasing the likelihood that the star is (partially) disrupted by a thermonuclear explosion rather than collapsing to form a neutron star. Importantly, our measurement resolves the last remaining nuclear physics uncertainty in the final evolution of degenerate oxygen-neon stellar cores, allowing future studies to address the critical role of convection, which at present is poorly understood.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer262701
TidsskriftPhysical Review Letters
Vol/bind123
Nummer26
ISSN0031-9007
DOI
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2019

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