r-process


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r-process

A rapid process of nucleosynthesis that is thought to occur when there is a very high flux of neutrons, as in certain supernova explosions. All nuclei with a mass number greater than bismuth–209 (see s-process) and all neutron-rich isotopes heavier than iron have been produced by the r-process. The process involves the capture by a nucleus of two or more neutrons in quick succession. The nucleus will then undergo chains of beta decay, this beta-particle (electron) emission having been suppressed during the rapid capture process. The decay product will be a stable neutron-rich nucleus. Many heavy nuclei can be produced both by the r- and the s-process.

r-process

[′är ‚prä·səs]
(nuclear physics)
The synthesis of elements and nuclides in supernovas through rapid captures of neutrons in a matter of seconds, followed by beta decay.
References in periodicals archive ?
The decompression of neutron-rich matter provides excellent conditions for producing r-process elements, heavy neutron-rich elements whose astrophysical production site has not yet been identified.
For 50 years, astronomers and nuclear physicists have modeled this rapid process, named the r-process, in order to unravel the cosmic history of the elements.
Poster topics include the magnesium abundance in 52 B stars, an infrared survey of neutron capture elements in planetary nebulae, new r-process enhanced stars found in the HK-II survey, and the origin of sulfur.