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Contact: F.X.Timmes
my one page vitae,
full vitae,
research statement, and
teaching statement.
The Impact of Nuclear Reaction Rate Uncertainties On The Evolution of Core-Collapse Supernova Progenitors (2018)

In this paper by Fields et al we explore properties of core-collapse supernova progenitors with respect to the composite uncertainties in the thermonuclear reaction rates by coupling the reaction rate probability density functions provided by the STARLIB reaction rate library with MESA stellar models.

We evolve 1000 15 M$_{\odot}$ models from the pre main-sequence to core O-depletion at solar and subsolar metallicities for a total of 2000 Monte Carlo stellar models. For each stellar model, we independently and simultaneously sample 665 thermonuclear reaction rates and use them in a MESA in situ reaction network that follows 127 isotopes from $^{1}$H to $^{64}$Zn. With this framework we survey the core mass, burning lifetime, composition, and structural properties at five different evolutionary epochs. At each epoch we measure the probability distribution function of the variations of each property and calculate Spearman Rank-Order Correlation coefficients for each sampled reaction rate to identify which reaction rate has the largest impact on the variations on each property.

We find that uncertainties in $^{14}$N$(p,\gamma)^{15}$O, triple-$\alpha$, $^{12}$C$(\alpha,\gamma)^{16}$O, $^{12}$C($^{12}$C,$p$)$^{23}$Na, $^{12}$C($^{16}$O,$p$)$^{27}$Al, $^{16}$O($^{16}$O,$n$)$^{31}$S, $^{16}$O($^{16}$O,$p$)$^{31}$P, and $^{16}$O($^{16}$O,$\alpha$)$^{28}$Si reaction rates dominate the variations of the properties surveyed. We find that variations induced by uncertainties in nuclear reaction rates grow with each passing phase of evolution, and at core H-, He-depletion are of comparable magnitude to the variations induced by choices of mass resolution and network resolution. However, at core C-, Ne-, and O-depletion, the reaction rate uncertainties can dominate the variation causing uncertainty in various properties of the stellar model in the evolution towards iron core-collapse.

STARLIB factor uncertainties
thermostat mechanism, quantified
probability distribution functions
spearmann rank order correlations