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26Al is an important radioisotope in astrophysics that provides evidence of ongoing nucleosynthesis in the Galaxy. The 23Na (α,p) 26Mg reaction has been identified by a sensitivity study as being one of the most important reactions for the production of 26Al in the convective C/Ne burning shell of massive stars. Owing to large uncertainties in previous experimental data, model calculations are used for the reaction rate of 23Na (α,p) 26Mg in this sensitivity study. Current experimental data suggest a reaction rate a factor of ∼40 higher than model calculations. However, a new measurement of this reaction cross section has been made in inverse kinematics in the energy range Ec.m.= 1.28 – 3.15 MeV at TRIUMF, and found to be in reasonable agreement with the model calculation. A new reaction rate is calculated and tight constraints on the uncertainty in the production of 26Al, due to this reaction, are determined.
- THERMONUCLEAR REACTION-RATE