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The interplay of nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics: some examples
Last Update
16.05.2016

Anatoli Afanasjev (Mississippi State University, USA)

The birth, life and death of the stars and their properties are directlyconnected with the features of atomic nuclei. However, the nucleosynthesisprocesses frequently involve the nuclei which cannot be measured inlaboratory conditions. The examples are the rapid neutron capture process (rprocess)and the fusion processes (pycnonuclear reactions) in the crust ofneutron stars. r-process seeds the universe with heavy elements, while thepycnonuclear reactions are responsible for element abundances in the crustof neutron stars and its thermal properties. The description of these processesdepends very sensitively on the modeling of nuclear properties and thereactions between nuclei. In my presentation, I will review the interplaybetween nuclear physics and nuclear astrophysics focusing on generalfeatures and particular results obtained within the framework of covariantdensity functional theory. A special attention will be paid to the assessment oftheoretical uncertainties and their propagation to unknown regions of nuclearchart. This is an important issue because of the limitations of experimentalfacilities in the studies of neutron-rich and superheavy nuclei.