Radiative captures in astrophysics and nucleosynthesis

K. Nollett

Caltech

Radiative captures play a crucial role in nucleosynthesis, allowing light nuclei to combine into heavier nuclei. Accurate rates for many of these reactions are therefore crucial if we are to understand the origin of the elements and the functioning of the stars. I will first provide a very brief overview of radiative captures in astrophysics. I will then discuss specific cases in synthesis of the light elements and in the evolution of low-mass stars in which uncertainties in radiative-capture rates translate into uncertainties in astrophysics.

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