The O14(α,p)F17 reaction is one of the key reactions involved in the breakout from the hot-CNO cycle to the rp-process in type-I x-ray bursts (XRBs). The resonant properties in the compound nucleus Ne18 have been investigated through resonant elastic scattering of F17+p. The radioactive F17 beam was separated by the Center for Nuclear Study radioactive ion beam separator (CRIB) and bombarded a thick H2 gas target at 3.6 MeV/nucleon. The recoiling light particles were measured by three ΔE-E silicon telescopes at laboratory angles of θlab≈3 10 and 18 Five resonances at Ex=6.15, 6.28, 6.35, 6.85, and 7.05 MeV were observed in the excitation functions, and their spin-parities have been determined based on an R-matrix analysis. In particular, Jπ=1- was firmly assigned to the 6.15-MeV state which dominates the thermonuclear O14(α,p)F17 rate below 2 GK. As well, a possible new excited state in Ne18 was observed at Ex=6.85±0.11 MeV with tentative J=0 assignment. This state could be the analog state of the 6.880 MeV (0-) level in the mirror nucleus O18, or a bandhead state (0+) of the six-particle four-hole (6p-4h) band. A new thermonuclear O14(α,p)F17 rate has been determined, and the astrophysical impact of multiple recent rates has been examined using an XRB model. Contrary to previous expectations, we find only a modest impact on predicted nuclear energy generation rates from using reaction rates differing by up to several orders of magnitude.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics