Electron capture in core-collapse supernovae investigated through configuration mixing in neutron-rich nuclei

Christian Aaen Diget, T. Baugher, D. Bazin, M. A. Bentley, J. S. Berryman, J. R. Brown, K. A. Chipps, P. J. Davies, B. R. Fulton, A. Gade, H. Iwasaki, A. M. Laird, A. Lemasson, S. McDaniel, A. Ratkiewicz, L. Scruton, A. Shore, S. R. Stroberg, D. Weisshaar, K. WimmerR. Winkler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Electron capture on neutron-rich medium-mass nuclei is a key process where the electrons that impede the collapse of the core of massive stars are captured, thereby producing very neutron-rich nuclei. As the core collapses, the supernova is then initiated. For the electron capture to proceed, however, the allowed Gamow-Teller (GT) transition must be unblocked either by thermal excitations or by mixing of proton configurations from a higher-lying shell into the ground-state configuration of the nucleus. The present paper presents an experiment performed at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University, in which we study the configuration mixing in the neutron-rich Zn-76 isotope. The experiment utilised single-proton and single-neutron knockout with detection of reaction-residue gamma rays and measurement of the parallel momentum of the residue. Through this we investigate the proton components of the Zn-76 ground state, with a particular interest in pi-g(9/2), which may unblock the GT electron capture even at low temperatures and thereby open a new pathway for the initiation of the collapse of the pre-supernova stellar core.

Original languageEnglish
EditorsS Freeman, A Andreyev, A Bruce, A Deacon, D Jenkins, D Joss, D MacGregor, P Regan, J Simpson, G Tungate, B Wadsworth, D Watts
Place of PublicationBRISTOL
PublisherIOP Publishing
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventRutherford Centennial Conference on Nuclear Physics - Manchester
Duration: 8 Aug 201112 Aug 2011


ConferenceRutherford Centennial Conference on Nuclear Physics

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