No waiting at a "waiting point"
Pathways of nucleosynthesis processes in stars are determined by masses of unstable nuclei. However, these nuclei are difficult to address in laboratory due to their short lifetimes and extremely small production rates. In a recent paper published in Physical Review Letters, on a base of just a few produced particles, masses of four nuclei have been measured in a storage ring by comparing tiny differences in their revolution times. The experiment has been conducted at the cooler-storage ring CSRe at IMP in Lanzhou, China, which has been built and commissioned with an extensive participation of GSI researchers.
The measured nuclei lie along the so-called rp-process path, the process which is believed to power energetic X-ray bursts observed in space. Such explosive events occur on the surface of neutron stars... Learn more