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S-factor measurement of the 2H(α,γ)6Li reaction at energies relevant for Big-Bang nucleosynthesis
Anders, M.
For about 20 years now, observations of 6Li in several old metal-poor stars inside the halo of our galaxy have been reported, which are largely independent of the stars’ metallicity, and which point to a possible primordial origin. The observations exceed the predictions of the Standard Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis model by a factor of 500. In the relevant energy range, no directly measured S-factors were available yet for the main production reaction 2H(α,γ)6Li, while different theoretical estimations have an uncertainty of up to two orders of magnitude. The very small cross section in the picobarn range has been measured with a deuterium gas target at the LUNA acceler- ator (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics), located deep underground inside Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso in Italy. A beam-induced, neutron-caused background in the γ-detector occurred which had to be analyzed carefully and sub- tracted in an appropriate way, to finally infer the weak signal of the reaction. For this purpose, a method to parameterize the Compton background has been developed. The results are a contribution to the discussion about the accuracy of the recent 6Li observations, and to the question if it is necessary to include new physics into the Standard Big-Bang Nucleosynthesis model.
Keywords: Experimental nuclear astrophysics Big-Bang nucleosynthesis Underground accelerator LUNA in-beam gamma-ray spectrometry neutron background
  • Open Access LogoWissenschaftlich-Technische Berichte / Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf; HZDR-042 2013
    ISSN: 2191-8708

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