New experimental $^{23}$Na($α,p$)$^{26}$Mg Reaction Rate for Massive Star and Type-Ia Supernova models

N. J. Hubbard, C. Aa Diget, S. P. Fox, H. O. U. Fynbo, A. M. Howard, O. S. Kirsebom, A. M. Laird, M. Munch, A. Parikh, M. Pignatari, J. R. Tomlinson

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The $^{23}$Na($\alpha,p$)$^{26}$Mg reaction has been identified as having a significant impact on the nucleosynthesis of several nuclei between Ne and Ti in type-Ia supernovae, and of $^{23}$Na and $^{26}$Al in massive stars. The reaction has been subjected to renewed experimental interest recently, motivated by high uncertainties in early experimental data and in the statistical Hauser-Feshbach models used in reaction rate compilations. Early experiments were affected by target deterioration issues and unquantifiable uncertainties. Three new independent measurements instead are utilizing inverse kinematics and Rutherford scattering monitoring to resolve this. In this work we present directly measured angular distributions of the emitted protons to eliminate a discrepancy in the assumptions made in the recent reaction rate measurements, which results in cross sections differing by a factor of 3. We derive a new combined experimental reaction rate for the $^{23}$Na($\alpha,p$)$^{26}$Mg reaction with a total uncertainty of 30% at relevant temperatures. Using our new $^{23}$Na($\alpha,p$)$^{26}$Mg rate, the $^{26}$Al and $^{23}$Na production uncertainty is reduced to within 8%. In comparison, using the factor of 10 uncertainty previously recommended by the rate compilation STARLIB, $^{26}$Al and $^{23}$Na production was changing by more than a factor of 2. In type-Ia supernova conditions, the impact on production of $^{23}$Na is constrained to within 15%.
Original languageEnglish
Article number59
JournalAstrophysical journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2021

Bibliographical note

13 pages, 8 figures, 4 tables.
© 2021. The Author(s)


  • nucl-ex
  • astro-ph.SR
  • nucl-th

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