Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I Source of Heavier than Iron Nucleosynthesis

  1. Oct 27, 2017 #1
    About 10 days ago, I read this in the Nature journal:


    I quote: "Over the past decade or so, astrophysicists had come to believe that this was the most plausible mechanism to explain the abundance of the heavier elements of the periodic table1. "

    Which is a more significant contributor to the nucleosynthesis of heavier than iron elements: supernovae or neutron star collisions? Any evidence available on this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2017 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think your question is still being debated. Here is a nice set of slides outlining the issues. The fact that we saw evidence of these heavy elements being produced in the recent neutron star merger says that these elements are produced from decompressed neutron star material. And for the first time we were able to measure how much material is ejected. Quoting from this paper, they say,
    "We find that if ~10% of the matter dynamically ejected from BNS mergers is converted to r-process elements, GW170817-like BNS mergers could fully account for the amount of r-process material observed in the Milky Way"

    But I think your question of how much of the r-process material comes from supernovae and how much from NS mergers is still open.
  4. Oct 27, 2017 #3
    Excellent feedback, thank you for this valuable input.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted