Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 457, 645-650 (2006/10-2)
Potassium abundances in nearby metal-poor stars.
ZHANG H.W., GEHREN T., BUTLER K., SHI J.R. and ZHAO G.
Abstract (from CDS):
The potassium abundances for 58 metal-poor stars are determined using high-resolution spectroscopy. The abundance trends in stars of different population are discussed. All abundance results have been derived from NLTE statistical equilibrium calculations and spectrum synthesis methods. The NLTE corrections are significant (-0.20 to -0.55dex) and they depend on the effective temperatures and surface gravities. The potassium abundances of thin disk, thick disk and halo stars show distinct trends, such as in the case of the α-elements. [K/Fe] gradually increases with a decrease in [Fe/H] for thin disk stars, [K/Fe] of thick disk stars is nearly constant at [K/Fe]~+0.30dex; halo stars also have nearly constant values of [K/Fe]~+0.20dex. The derived dependence between [K/Fe] and [Fe/H] is in agreement with the theoretical prediction of published model calculations of the chemical evolution of the Galaxy. The nearly constant [K/Mg] ratio with small scatter suggests that the nucleosynthesis of potassium is closely coupled to the α-elements.