X-ray Binaries

X-ray bursts are violent explosions on the surface of accreting neutron stars that are powered by nuclear reactions on radioactive isotopes. They are triggered by the transfer of mass onto a neutron star from the binary companion star, typically last tens of seconds, and may repeat after only hours. Most of the relevant thermonuclear reactions have never been measured. Determination of the rates of thermonuclear reactions, and of the proton binding energies and positron-decay lifetimes along the proton drip lines, are needed as crucial input into simulation of these energetic outbursts.

FRIB will enable a wide range of measurements needed to understand the explosive hydrogen burning that drives X-ray bursts.

Supplemental information on explosions in X-ray Binaries and FRIB will soon be found on this page.