The nucleosynthesis of elements beyond iron is dominated by neutron captures in the s and r processes. However, 32 stable, proton-rich isotopes cannot be formed during those processes, because they are shielded from the s-process flow and r-process beta-decay chains. These nuclei are attributed to the p and rp process.
For all those processes, current research in nuclear astrophysics addresses the need for more precise reaction data involving radioactive isotopes. Depending on the particular reaction, direct or inverse kinematics, forward or time-reversed direction are investigated to determine or at least to constrain the desired reaction cross sections.
The Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) will offer unique, unprecedented opportunities to investigate many of the important reactions. The high yield of radioactive isotopes, even far away from the valley of stability, allows the investigation of isotopes involved in processes as exotic as the r or rp processes.
Date added: Tue, 8 Oct 13