How Well Do We Know the Beta-Decay of 16N and Oxygen Formation in Helium Burning

Moshe Gai

Submitted on 3 September 1998


We review the status of the 12C(a,g)16O reaction rate, of importance for stellar processes in a progenitor star prior to a super-nova collapse. Several attempts to constrain the p-wave S-factor of the 12C(a,g)16O reaction at Helium burning temperatures (200 MK) using the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission of 16N have been made, and it is claimed that this S-factor is known, as quoted by the TRIUMF collaboration. In contrast reanalyses (by G.M. hale) of all thus far available data (including the 16N data) does not rule out a small S-factor solution. Furthermore, we improved our previous Yale-UConn study of the beta- delayed alpha-particle emission of \n16 by improving our statistical sample (by more than a factor of 5), improving the energy resolution of the experiment (by 20%), and in understanding our line shape, deduced from measured quantities. Our newly measured spectrum of the beta-delayed alpha-particle emission of 16N is not consistent with the TRIUMF('94) data, but is consistent with the Seattle('95) data, as well as the earlier (unaltered !) data of Mainz('71). The implication of this discrepancies for the extracted astrophysical p-wave s-factor is briefly discussed.


Comment: 6 pages, 4 figures, Invited Talk, Physics With Radioactive Beams, Puri, India, Jan. 12-17, 1998, Work Supported by USDOE Grant No. DE-FG02-94ER40870

Subjects: Nuclear Experiment; Astrophysics; Nuclear Theory