Ani Aprahamian

University of Notre Dame

Nuclear Mass Models and Their Implications for Neutron-Rich Nuclei

The quest in nuclear physics today is to reach ever farther to nuclei very far from stability in order to gain a deeper and more comprehensive description of nuclei answering questions as broad in scope as those regarding the fundamental nature of the nuclear force that binds protons and neutrons into stable or radioactive nuclei, to looking at how nuclei have shaped the cosmos. Nuclear reactions lead to the origins of the elements and it is these reactions that drive stars and stellar explosions. A key component of understanding any of the variety of nucleosynthesis processes is a reliable nuclear mass model since mass differences drive the reactions and their ensuing beta decays. Effects such as deformation are reflected in the mass of a nucleus of interest. I will use the r-process or the rapid neutron capture process thought to be responsible for the creation of over 50% of the elements above Iron as an example to demonstrate the efficacy of a semi-empirical mass model that we have developed based on concepts of F-spin.

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