Taking the Temperature: Statistical Nuclear Physics for Astrophysics and Applications (T3)
Statistical estimates of nuclear reaction rates are essential ingredients for astrophysical model calculations, e.g. r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers, and nuclear applications, e.g. next generation nuclear reactor performance. Rate calculations require experimental or theoretical constraints for nuclear properties such as level densities (temperature), gamma-strength functions, particle optical potentials, and level spin distributions. Recently major advances have been made experimentally constraining the statistical properties of nuclei, particularly off the valley of beta-stability, while systematic studies have identified critical data needs for astrophysics and applications. As such, the time is ripe to “take the temperature” of the field of statistical nuclear physics to share recent advances and promising opportunities.