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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: August 2009

Stellar Nucleosynthesis

Summary

After recalling general knowledge about nuclear reactions and stellar evolution, we highlight aspects of stellar nucleosynthesis and the underlying physics of stellar evolution where progress has been achieved during the last years. In §2, we discuss the bulk nucleosynthesis in massive stars, especially of oxygen which is the most prominent massive star tracer, before we outline effects of rotation in those stars. §3 describes some recent developments in the field of s-process nucleosynthesis, §4 deals with the relevance of close binary systems for nucleosynthesis, and §5 is concerned with the most massive stars.

Introduction

We know 290 stable isotopes. With the exception of the nine lightest ones, they are all synthesised in the deep interior of stars. In order to study the evolutionary history of the abundance of all these nuclei, it is most efficient to group them such that the formation of the isotopes in each group can be understood through the same process. Following the legendary approach of Burbidge et al. (1957), one can break down the nucleosynthesis into half a dozen processes, which can be split further considering more details, but which leave only very few nuclei unexplained. While in what follows we will connect nucleosynthesis processes with evolutionary stages of stars, it is worth pointing out that Burbidge et al.

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