Nuclear astrophysics data at ORNL Page: 1 of 1
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Nuclear Astrophysics Data at ORNL
MICHAEL S. SMITH', DANIEL W. BARDAYAN1,2 JEFF C. BLACKMON', ZHANWEN
1 Physics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, MS-6354, Bldg. 6010, P.O. Box 2008,
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6371, USA
2 A. W. Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory, Yale University, 272 Whitney Ave., P.O. Box
6666, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
3 Chinese Institute for Atomic Energy, P.O. Box 275(46), Beijing, 102413, P.R. China
4 Joint Institute for Heavy Ion Research, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831, USA
Abstract. There is a new program of evaluation and dissemination of nuclear data of crit-
ical importance for nuclear astrophysics within the Physics Division of Oak Ridge National
Laboratory. Recent activities include determining the rates of the important 14O(a,p)17F
and 17F(p,,y)'Ne reactions, disseminating the Caughlan and Fowler reaction rate compila-
tion on the World Wide Web, and evaluating the '70(p,a)14N reaction rate. These projects,
which are closely coupled to current ORNL nuclear astrophysics research, are briefly dis-
cussed along with our future plans.
Nuclear astrophysics involves study of the synthesis of elements and the evolution of
cosmic sites where this synthesis occurs. Systems as diverse as the early universe,
the interstellar medium, red giant stars, and supernova explosions are currently the
focus of international observational, experimental, and computational studies. These
studies address some of the most interesting questions in nature - such as determining
the origin of the elements that make up our bodies and our world, and determining
the fate of the constitutents of the cosmos.
Nuclear data is the physical basis for many sophisticated theoretical models used
to address these questions. These models require large quantities of nuclear data
as input - such as the rates of and energy released in nuclear reactions occurring in
astrophysical environments, as well as information on the properties (e.g., masses,
excited-state energies and widths) of relevant nuclei. Progress on many fundamental
problems in nuclear astrophysics can be significantly aided by more effective utilization
of nuclear data. There are numerous cases of the significant impact that new, more
precise nuclear data evaluations have made on astrophysical studies. For example,
the limit on the baryon density of the universe depends critically on the rate of
the 3H(ac,7)7Li reaction . There is a very strong dependence of the abundances
produced in supernova explosions on the value of the '2C(a,'y)160 reaction rate .
The lifetime of the isotope "Ti [3, 4, 5] places constraints on the nucleosynthesis,
explosion mechanisms, and light curves of supernova explosions such as Cas A [6, 7]
and SN 1987A . The rates of reactions that produce and destroy 2Al have a
significant impact  on the interpretation of observations of 26A1 in the interstellar
medium  and in meteorites . Explanation of isotopic anomalies of barium
isotopes in meteorites depend very sensitively on neutron capture cross sections .
In light of the importance of nuclear data on astrophysical studies, the Physics
The submitted manuscript has been
authored by a contractor of the U.S.
Government under contract No. DE-
AC05-96822464. Accordingly, the U.S.
Government retains a nonexclusive,
royalty-free license to publish or reproduce
the published form of this contribution, or
allow others to do so, for U.S. Government
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Smith, M.S.; Blackmon, J.C.; Bardayan, D.W. & Ma, Z. Nuclear astrophysics data at ORNL, article, November 1, 1998; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676736/m1/1/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.