First measurement of the 14N(p,γ)15O cross section down to 70 keV

A. Lemut, D. Bemmerer, F. Confortola, R. Bonetti, C. Broggini, P. Corvisiero, H. Costantini, J. Cruz, A. Formicola, Zs Fülöp, G. Gervino, A. Guglielmetti, C. Gustavino, Gy Gyürky, G. Imbriani, A. P. Jesus, M. Junker, B. Limata, R. Menegazzo, P. PratiV. Roca, D. Rogalla, C. Rolfs, M. Romano, C. Rossi Alvarez, F. Schümann, E. Somorjai, O. Straniero, F. Strieder, F. Terrasi, H. P. Trautvetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (Scopus)


In stars with temperatures above 20×106 K, hydrogen burning is dominated by the CNO cycle. Its rate is determined by the slowest process, the 14N(p, γ)15O reaction. Deep underground in Italy's Gran Sasso laboratory, at the LUNA 400 kV accelerator, the cross section of this reaction has been measured at energies much lower than ever achieved before. Using a windowless gas target and a 4π BGO summing detector, direct cross section data has been obtained down to 70 keV, reaching a value of 0.24 picobarn. The Gamow peak has been covered by experimental data for several scenarios of stable and explosive hydrogen burning. In addition, the strength of the 259 keV resonance has been remeasured. The thermonuclear reaction rate has been calculated for temperatures 90-300×106 K, for the first time with negligible impact from extrapolations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-487
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 23 2006


  • AGB stars
  • CNO cycle
  • Cross section measurement
  • Hydrogen shell burning
  • N(p, γ)O
  • Radiative capture
  • Underground nuclear astrophysics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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    Lemut, A., Bemmerer, D., Confortola, F., Bonetti, R., Broggini, C., Corvisiero, P., Costantini, H., Cruz, J., Formicola, A., Fülöp, Z., Gervino, G., Guglielmetti, A., Gustavino, C., Gyürky, G., Imbriani, G., Jesus, A. P., Junker, M., Limata, B., Menegazzo, R., ... Trautvetter, H. P. (2006). First measurement of the 14N(p,γ)15O cross section down to 70 keV. Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics, 634(5-6), 483-487.