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Advances in the Direct Study of Carbon Burning in Massive Stars

Abstract : The C12+C12 fusion reaction plays a critical role in the evolution of massive stars and also strongly impacts various explosive astrophysical scenarios. The presence of resonances in this reaction at energies around and below the Coulomb barrier makes it impossible to carry out a simple extrapolation down to the Gamow window—the energy regime relevant to carbon burning in massive stars. The C12+C12 system forms a unique laboratory for challenging the contemporary picture of deep sub-barrier fusion (possible sub-barrier hindrance) and its interplay with nuclear structure (sub-barrier resonances). Here, we show that direct measurements of the C12+C12 fusion cross section may be made into the Gamow window using an advanced particle-gamma coincidence technique. The sensitivity of this technique effectively removes ambiguities in existing measurements made with gamma ray or charged-particle detection alone. The present cross-section data span over 8 orders of magnitude and support the fusion-hindrance model at deep sub-barrier energies.
Keywords : Nuclear Physics
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G. Fruet, S. Courtin, M. Heine, D.G. Jenkins, P. Adsley, et al.. Advances in the Direct Study of Carbon Burning in Massive Stars. Phys.Rev.Lett., 2020, 124 (19), pp.192701. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.192701⟩. ⟨hal-02613272⟩

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