R-process Nucleosynthesis in Supernovae

Heavier elements than iron, especially precious metals like silver, gold, and platinum, and all actinoids like thorium and uranium are produced by r-process (rapid-neutron capture). We have studied the r-process nucleosynthesis in supernova explosions, with a nuclear reaction network from neutrons and protons up to fermium isotopes. Our results imply that the robust r-process takes place in either of low mass (8-10 solar masses) supernovae or rather massive (20-30 solar masses) supernovae (jpeg file, 501 KB; pdf file, 38 KB; avi movie, 16 MB).