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Open Access Publications from the University of California

First Direct Measurement of Mg22(α,p)Al25 and Implications for X-Ray Burst Model-Observation Comparisons


Type-I x-ray bursts can reveal the properties of an accreting neutron star system when compared with astrophysics model calculations. However, model results are sensitive to a handful of uncertain nuclear reaction rates, such as ^{22}Mg(α,p). We report the first direct measurement of ^{22}Mg(α,p), performed with the Active Target Time Projection Chamber. The corresponding astrophysical reaction rate is orders of magnitude larger than determined from a previous indirect measurement in a broad temperature range. Our new measurement suggests a less-compact neutron star in the source GS1826-24.

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