The C12(α,γ)O16 reaction plays a central role in astrophysics, but its cross section at energies relevant for astrophysical applications is only poorly constrained by laboratory data. The reduced α width, γ11, of the bound 1- level in O16 is particularly important to determine the cross section. The magnitude of γ11 is determined via sub-Coulomb α-transfer reactions or the β-delayed α decay of N16, but the latter approach is presently hampered by the lack of sufficiently precise data on the β-decay branching ratios. Here we report improved branching ratios for the bound 1- level [bβ,11=(5.02±0.10)×10-2] and for β-delayed α emission [bβα=(1.59±0.06)×10-5]. Our value for bβα is 33% larger than previously held, leading to a substantial increase in γ11. Our revised value for γ11 is in good agreement with the value obtained in α-transfer studies and the weighted average of the two gives a robust and precise determination of γ11, which provides significantly improved constraints on the C12(α,γ) cross section in the energy range relevant to hydrostatic He burning.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Oct 2018|