Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 487, 767-774 (2008/8-4)
Improved predictions of nuclear reaction rates with the TALYS reaction code for astrophysical applications.
GORIELY S., HILAIRE S. and KONING A.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
Nuclear reaction rates of astrophysical applications are traditionally determined on the basis of Hauser-Feshbach reaction codes. These codes adopt a number of approximations that have never been tested, such as a simplified width fluctuation correction, the neglect of delayed or multiple-particle emission during the electromagnetic decay cascade, or the absence of the pre-equilibrium contribution at increasing incident energies. The reaction code TALYS has been recently updated to estimate the Maxwellian-averaged reaction rates that are of astrophysical relevance. These new developments enable the reaction rates to be calculated with increased accuracy and reliability and the approximations of previous codes to be investigated. The TALYS predictions for the thermonuclear rates of relevance to astrophysics are detailed and compared with those derived by widely-used codes for the same nuclear ingredients. It is shown that TALYS predictions may differ significantly from those of previous codes, in particular for nuclei for which no or little nuclear data is available. The pre-equilibrium process is shown to influence the astrophysics rates of exotic neutron-rich nuclei significantly. For the first time, the Maxwellian-averaged (n,2n) reaction rate is calculated for all nuclei and its competition with the radiative capture rate is discussed. The TALYS code provides a new tool to estimate all nuclear reaction rates of relevance to astrophysics with improved accuracy and reliability.