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Nuclear physics processes generate the energy that makes stars shine. These very same processes in stars are responsible for the synthesis of the elements. When stars eject part of their matter by various means, they enrich the interstellar medium with the nuclear ashes and thereby provide the building blocks for the birth of new stars, of planets, and of life itself. The theory of this building of elements is called nucleosynthesis.

For the successful computer modeling of any kind of star, a library of nuclear physics information is needed. Such a library contains all of the nuclear processes that may occur in the hot and dense stellar plasma: nuclear reactions, beta-decays, photodisintegrations, and so on. Specifically, the library lists for each individual nuclear process the probability for the process to occur in the plasma for a grid of given temperatures. This probability is called "thermonuclear reaction rate" for reactions among particles, and "decay constant" for beta-decays and photodisintegrations. More information can be found in a recent textbook.

The UNC Nucleosynthesis Simulator allows you to do a number of things: (i) RateLibrary allows you to access our nuclear physics library, look up a specific nuclear rate, download the entire library or a subset of your choice; (ii) RateCalculator allows you to compute a thermonuclear reaction rate for a given set of nuclear physics input parameters; (iii) Details describes the characteristics of STARLIB and its construction. The entire STARLIB library and a thorough accounting of its formulation and structure can be viewed here.


These pages are maintained by Anne Sallaska and Christian Iliadis, in collaboration with Art Champagne (UNC),
Sumner Starrfield (ASU), and Frank Timmes (ASU). For comments, send a message to the webmaster.

Supported by the National Science Foundation under award number AST-1008355 and by the DOE under grant number DE-FG02-97ER41041.


  Special thanks to McG