Neutron Star Mergers and Nucleosynthesis of Heavy Elements

  title={Neutron Star Mergers and Nucleosynthesis of Heavy Elements},
  author={F. Thielemann and Marius Eichler and I. V. Panov and Benjamin Wehmeyer},
  journal={Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science},
The existence of neutron star mergers has been supported since the discovery of the binary pulsar and the observation of its orbital energy loss, consistent with General Relativity. They are considered nucleosynthesis sites of the rapid neutron-capture process (r-process), which is responsible for creating approximately half of all heavy elements beyond Fe and is the only source of elements beyond Pb and Bi. Detailed nucleosynthesis calculations based on the decompression of neutron star matter… 

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