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First Experimental Constraint on the Fe-59(n, gamma)Fe-60 Reaction Cross Section at Astrophysical Energies via the Coulomb Dissociation of Fe-60

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Original languageEnglish
Article number211101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2014


The radionuclide Fe-60 has been of great interest to the nuclear astrophysics community for over a decade. An initial discrepancy between the observed and modeled Galactic Fe-60/Al-26 ratio motivated numerous studies focused on the nucleosynthesis of these two isotopes, though the cross section of the primary astrophysical production reaction, Fe-59(n,gamma)Fe-60, has remained purely theoretical. The present work offers a first experimental constraint on the Fe-59(n,gamma)Fe-60 cross section at astrophysical energies, obtained indirectly via Coulomb dissociation, and demonstrates that the theoretical reaction rates used in present stellar models are not highly erroneous.

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