Nucleosynthesis and remnants in massive stars of solar metallicity

Stanford E Woosley, Alexander Heger

Research output: Contribution to journalShort ReviewOtherpeer-review

450 Citations (Scopus)


Hans Bethe contributed in many ways to our understanding of the supernovae that happen in massive stars, but, to this day, a first principles model of how the explosion is energized is lacking. Nevertheless, a quantitative theory of nucleosynthesis is possible. We present a survey of the nucleosynthesis that occurs in 32 stars of solar metallicity in the mass range 12-120 MSun. The most recent set of solar abundances, opacities, mass loss rates, and current estimates of nuclear reaction rates are employed. Restrictions on the mass cut and explosion energy of the supernovae based upon nucleosynthesis, measured neutron star masses, and light curves are discussed and applied. The nucleosynthetic results, when integrated over a Salpeter initial mass function (IMF), agree quite well with what is seen in the sun. We discuss in some detail the production of the long lived radioactivities, 26Al and 60Fe, and why recent model-based estimates of the ratio 60 Fe /26 Al are overly large compared with what satellites have observed. A major source of the discrepancy is the uncertain nuclear cross sections for the creation and destruction of these unstable isotopes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269 - 283
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics Reports
Issue number1-6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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