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We report the first measurement of low-energy proton-capture cross sections of 124Xe in a heavy-ion storage ring. 124Xe54+ ions of five different beam energies between 5.5 and 8 AMeV were stored to collide with a windowless hydrogen target. The 125Cs reaction products were directly detected. The interaction energies are located on the high energy tail of the Gamow window for hot, explosive scenarios such as supernovae and x-ray binaries. The results serve as an important test of predicted astrophysical reaction rates in this mass range. Good agreement in the prediction of the astrophysically important proton width at low energy is found, with only a 30% difference between measurement and theory. Larger deviations are found above the neutron emission threshold, where also neutron and γ widths significantly impact the cross sections. The newly established experimental method is a very powerful tool to investigate nuclear reactions on rare ion beams at low center-of-mass energies.

On the robustness of the r-process in neutron-star mergers against variations of nuclear masses
(2016)

r-process calculations have been performed for matter ejected dynamically in neutron star mergers (NSM), such calculations are based on a complete set of trajectories from a three-dimensional relativistic smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) simulation. Our calculations consider an extended nuclear reaction network, including spontaneous, β- and neutron-induced fission and adopting fission yield distributions from the ABLA code. In this contribution we have studied the sensitivity of the r-process abundances to nuclear masses by using diferent mass models for the calculation of neutron capture cross sections via the statistical model. Most of the trajectories, corresponding to 90% of the ejected mass, follow a relatively slow expansion allowing for all neutrons to be captured. The resulting abundances are very similar to each other and reproduce the general features of the observed r-process abundance (the second and third peaks, the rare-earth peak and the lead peak) for all mass models as they are mainly determined by the fission yields. We find distinct differences in the predictions of the mass models at and just above the third peak, which can be traced back to different predictions of neutron separation energies for r-process nuclei around neutron number N = 130.

When binary systems of neutron stars merge, a very small fraction of their rest mass is ejected, either dynamically or secularly. This material is neutron-rich and its nucleosynthesis provides the astrophysical site for the production of heavy elements in the Universe, together with a kilonova signal confirming neutron-star mergers as the origin of short gamma-ray bursts. We perform full general-relativistic simulations of binary neutron-star mergers employing three different nuclear-physics equations of state (EOSs), considering both equal- and unequal-mass configurations, and adopting a leakage scheme to account for neutrino radiative losses. Using a combination of techniques, we carry out an extensive and systematic study of the hydrodynamical, thermodynamical, and geometrical properties of the matter ejected dynamically, employing the WinNet nuclear-reaction network to recover the relative abundances of heavy elements produced by each configurations. Among the results obtained, three are particularly important. First, we find that, within the sample considered here, both the properties of the dynamical ejecta and the nucleosynthesis yields are robust against variations of the EOS and masses. Second, using a conservative but robust criterion for unbound matter, we find that the amount of ejected mass is ≲10−3 M⊙, hence at least one order of magnitude smaller than what normally assumed in modelling kilonova signals. Finally, using a simplified and gray-opacity model we assess the observability of the infrared kilonova emission finding, that for all binaries the luminosity peaks around ∼1=2 day in the H-band, reaching a maximum magnitude of −13, and decreasing rapidly after one day.

We investigate the effect of large magnetic fields on the (2 + 1)-dimensional reduced-magnetohydrodynamical expansion of hot and dense nuclear matter produced in √sNN = 200 GeV Au+Au collisions. For the sake of simplicity,we consider the casewhere themagnetic field points in the direction perpendicular to the reaction plane. We also consider this field to be external, with energy density parametrized as a two-dimensional Gaussian. The width of the Gaussian along the directions orthogonal to the beam axis varies with the centrality of the collision. The dependence of the magnetic field on proper time (τ ) for the case of zero electrical conductivity of the QGP is parametrized following Deng et al. [Phys. Rev. C 85, 044907 (2012)], and for finite electrical conductivity following Tuchin [Phys. Rev. C 88, 024911 (2013)].We solve the equations of motion of ideal hydrodynamics for such an external magnetic field. For collisions with nonzero impact parameter we observe considerable changes in the evolution of the momentum eccentricities of the fireball when comparing the case when the magnetic field decays in a conducting QGP medium and when no magnetic field is present. The elliptic-flow coefficient v2 of π− is shown to increase in the presence of an external magnetic field and the increment in v2 is found to depend on the evolution and the initial magnitude of the magnetic field.

An experiment addressing electron capture (EC) decay of hydrogen-like 142Pm60+ions has been conducted at the experimental storage ring (ESR) at GSI. The decay appears to be purely exponential and no modulations were observed. Decay times for about 9000 individual EC decays have been measured by applying the single-ion decay spectroscopy method. Both visually and automatically analysed data can be described by a single exponential decay with decay constants of 0.0126(7)s−1 for automatic analysis and 0.0141(7)s−1 for manual analysis. If a modulation superimposed on the exponential decay curve is assumed, the best fit gives a modulation amplitude of merely 0.019(15), which is compatible with zero and by 4.9 standard deviations smaller than in the original observation which had an amplitude of 0.23(4).

Ion optical calculations for a storage ring at the present GSI facility for direct proton-induced reactions relevant for different astrophysical processes are presented. As an example case, the 59Cu(p,γ) and 59Cu(p,α) reactions are shown. The branching of these two reactions is important in X-ray burst scenarios, since it determines the breakout out of the major 56Ni waiting point.

A new technique developed for measuring nuclear reactions at low momentum transfer with stored beams in inverse kinematics was successfully used to study isoscalar giant resonances. The experiment was carried out at the experimental heavy-ion storage ring (ESR) at the GSI facility using a stored 58Ni beam at 100 MeV/u and an internal helium gas-jet target. In these measurements, inelastically scattered α-recoils at very forward center-of-mass angles (θcm ≤ 1.5°) were detected with a dedicated setup, including ultra-high vacuum compatible detectors. Experimental results indicate a dominant contribution of the isoscalar giant monopole resonance at this very forward angular range. It was found that the monopole contribution exhausts 79+12−11% of the energy-weighted sum rule (EWSR), which agrees with measurements performed in normal kinematics. This opens up the opportunity to investigate the giant resonances in a large domain of unstable and exotic nuclei in the near future. It is a fundamental milestone towards new nuclear reaction studies with stored ion beams.

Within the SEASTAR project at RIKEN-RIBF, 66Cr and 70,72Fe have been produced via protonknockout reactions, and their first excited 2+ and 4+ states have been discovered. The combination of the liquid-hydrogen target and TPC system MINOS has been used in combination with the DALI2 detector array for the first time. A 345 MeV/u 238U beam with a mean intensity of about 12 pnA impinged on a Be target. Fission fragments were separated and identified using the BigRIPS spectrograph, and reaction products were analyzed using the ZeroDegree spectrograph. A plateau of excitation energies, with a small change in the systematic trends past N = 44, reveals an extension of the N = 40 region of collectivity toward N = 50. Hence, the isotopes of interest are located within the N = 40 island of inversion. An interpretation of the observed trends is offered through large scale shell model calculations.

The elliptic-flow ratio of neutrons with respect to protons or light complex particles in reactions of heavy ions at pre-relativistic energies has been proposed as an observable sensitive to the strength of the symmetry term of the nuclear equation of state at supra-saturation densities. In the ASY-EOS experiment at the GSI laboratory, flows of neutrons and light charged particles were measured for 197Au+197Au collisions at 400 MeV/nucleon. Flow results obtained for the Au+Au system, in comparison with predictions of the UrQMD transport model, confirm the moderately soft to linear density dependence of the symmetry energy deduced from the earlier FOPI-LAND data.