Electromagnetic Dissociation of 8B and the Rate of the 7Be(p,gamma)8B Reaction in the Sun

B. Davids, Sam M. Austin, D. Bazin, H. Esbensen, B. M. Sherrill, I. J. Thompson, J. A. Tostevin

Submitted on 3 April 2001


In an effort to better determine the 7Be(p,gamma)8B reaction rate, we have performed inclusive and exclusive measurements of the Coulomb dissociation of 8B. The former was a study of longitudinal momentum distributions of 7Be fragments emitted in the Coulomb breakup of intermediate energy 8B beams on Pb and Ag targets. Analysis of these data yielded the E2 contribution to the breakup cross section. In the exclusive measurement, we determined the cross section for the Coulomb breakup of 8B on Pb at low relative energies in order to infer the astrophysical S factor for the 7Be(p,gamma)8B reaction. Interpreting the measurements with 1st-order perturbation theory, we obtained SE2/SE1 = 4.7 (+ 2.0,- 1.3) times 10^-4 at Erel = 0.6 MeV, and S17(0) = 17.8 (+ 1.4,- 1.2) eV b. Semiclassical 1st-order perturbation theory and fully quantum mechanical continuum-discretized coupled channels analyses yield nearly identical results for the E1 strength relevant to solar neutrino flux calculations, suggesting that theoretical reaction mechanism uncertainties need not limit the precision of Coulomb breakup determinations of the 7Be(p,gamma)8B S factor. A recommended value of S17(0) based on a weighted average of this and other measurements is presented.


Subjects: Nuclear Experiment; Astrophysics; Nuclear Theory