Michael Wiescher, Notre Dame
The fate of matter on accreting neutron stars.
Physics Division Colloquium - 15 Feb. 2002

X-ray bursts have been identified as thermonuclear explosions on the surface of accreting neutron stars. I will discuss the fate of the hydrogen and helium rich accreted material and its rapid conversion to heavy elements in the mass A=100 range during the thermonuclear runaway. I will discuss the time-scale of the ignition and evolution of the runaway and the consequences for the luminosity and the isotopic abundance distribution in the ashes. I will discuss the possible fate of the ashes in the gravitational field of the neutron star. Finally, I will give an out-look on the possible implications for the galactic abundance distribution as well as on the thermal and electrical properties of the neutron star crust.

ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule