BAYESIAN ESTIMATION of THERMONUCLEAR REACTION RATES

C. Iliadis, K. S. Anderson, A. Coc, Francis Timmes, Sumner Starrfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The problem of estimating non-resonant astrophysical S-factors and thermonuclear reaction rates, based on measured nuclear cross sections, is of major interest for nuclear energy generation, neutrino physics, and element synthesis. Many different methods have been applied to this problem in the past, almost all of them based on traditional statistics. Bayesian methods, on the other hand, are now in widespread use in the physical sciences. In astronomy, for example, Bayesian statistics is applied to the observation of extrasolar planets, gravitational waves, and Type Ia supernovae. However, nuclear physics, in particular, has been slow to adopt Bayesian methods. We present astrophysical S-factors and reaction rates based on Bayesian statistics. We develop a framework that incorporates robust parameter estimation, systematic effects, and non-Gaussian uncertainties in a consistent manner. The method is applied to the reactions d(p,γ)3He, 3He(3He,2p)4He, and 3He(α;,γ)7Be, important for deuterium burning, solar neutrinos, and Big Bang nucleosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume831
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

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Keywords

  • abundances
  • methods: numerical
  • nuclear reactions
  • nucleosynthesis
  • primordial nucleosynthesis
  • stars: interiors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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