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Decay branching ratios of excited Mg 24

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The nuclear reactions C12(C12,α)Ne20, C12(C12,p)Na23, and C12(C12,n)Mg23 are the primary reactions in carbon burning, which occurs as part of several stellar processes. The Gamow window, which describes the energy range where most of these reactions take place, is typically around 1.5 MeV in the center-of-mass frame. Direct measurements of the cross sections at this energy are difficult due to the large Coulomb barrier present between the carbon nuclei; however, a successful surrogate measurement can provide the branching ratios between these reactions while avoiding the C12+C12 Coulomb barrier. An experiment was performed using inelastic scattering of 40 MeV α particles on Mg24 as a possible surrogate for the C12+C12 compound nucleus.

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