Cosmic-Ray Nucleosynthesis of p-nuclei: Yields and Routes

Motohiko Kusakabe and Grant J. Mathews

Astrophysical Journal 854, 183 Link to Article [DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aaa125]
Center for Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA

We investigate the cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis (CRN) of proton-rich stable nuclides (p-nuclides). We calculate the cosmic-ray (CR) energy spectra of heavy nuclides with mass number $A=[74,209]$, taking into account the detailed nuclear spallation, decay, energy loss, and escape from the Galaxy during the CR propagation. We adopt the latest semiempirical formula SPACS for the spallation cross sections and the latest data on nuclear decay. Effective electron-capture decay rates are calculated using the proper cross sections for recombination and ionization in the whole CR energy region. Calculated CR spectral shapes vary for different nuclides. Abundances of proton-rich unstable nuclides increase in CRs with increasing energy relative to those of other nuclides. Yields of the primary and secondary spallation processes and differential yields from respective seed nuclides are calculated. We find that the CR energy region of $\leqslant { \mathcal O }(100)$ MeV/nucleon predominantly contributes to the total yields. The atomic cross sections in the low-energy range adopted in this study are then necessary. Effects of CRN on the Galactic chemical evolution of p-nuclides are calculated. Important seed nuclides are identified for respective p-nuclides. The contribution of CRN is significant for 180mTa, accounting for about 20% of the solar abundance. About 87% of the 180m Ta CRN yield can be attributed to the primary process. The most important production routes are reactions of 181Ta, 180Hf, and 182W. CRN yields of other p-nuclides are typically about ${ \mathcal O }$(10−4–10−2) of solar abundances.

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