Nuclear reactions in stars are the powerhouses of the universe, and its these same processes that create the elements. Understanding these processes is one of the core aims in the field of nuclear astrophysics – something that our recent interview with Hendrik Schatz discussed. That’s where our image of the week comes in, a visual representation of the different nucleosynthesis processes that take place across the chart of the nuclides.
As you can see there are quite a few different processes that build different nuclei. The conditions required for each process vary, some requiring extremely high temperatures and densities like those that exist in a neutron star. Others, are more dominant in supernovae explosions, and the lighter elements are typically created in stars like our own Sun.
Learn a bit more about nuclear astrophysics:
JPhys+: What is nuclear astrophysics? An interview with Hendrik Schatz
Read the article: Trends in nuclear astrophysics
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License
Image from Trends in nuclear astrophysics Hendrik Schatz 2016 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 43 064001. Copyright IOP Publishing, All Rights Reserved.