Freeze-out yields of radioactivities in core-collapse supernovae

Georgios Magkotsios, Francis Timmes, Michael Wiescher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We explore the nucleosynthesis trends from two mechanisms during freeze-out expansions in core-collapse supernovae. The first mechanism is related to the convection and instabilities within homogeneous stellar progenitor matter that is accreted through the supernova shock. The second mechanism is related to the impact of the supersonic wind termination shock (reverse shock) within the tumultuous inner regions of the ejecta above the proto-neutron star. Our results suggest that isotopes in the mass range 12 ≤ A ≤ 122 that are produced during the freeze-out expansions may be classified in two families. The isotopes of the first family manifest a common mass fraction evolutionary profile, whose specific shape per isotope depends on the characteristic transition between two equilibrium states (equilibrium state transition) during each type of freeze-out expansion. The first family includes the majority of isotopes in this mass range. The second family is limited to magic nuclei and isotopes in their locality, which do not sustain any transition, become nuclear flow hubs, and dominate the final composition. We use exponential and power-law adiabatic profiles to identify dynamic large-scale and small-scale equilibrium patterns among nuclear reactions. A reaction rate sensitivity study identifies those reactions that are crucial to the synthesis of radioactivities in the mass range of interest. In addition, we introduce non-monotonic parameterized profiles to probe the impact of the reverse shock and multi-dimensional explosion asymmetries on nucleosynthesis. Cases are shown in which the non-monotonic profiles favor the production of radioactivities. Non-monotonic freeze-out profiles involve longer non-equilibrium nucleosynthesis intervals compared with the exponential and power-law profiles, resulting in mass fraction trends and yield distributions that may not be achieved by the monotonic freeze-out profiles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2011


  • convection
  • hydrodynamics
  • instabilities
  • nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • shock waves
  • supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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