Bulg. J. Phys. vol.34 no.s1 (2007), pp. 303-319

Statistical Description of Multifragmentation: from Nuclear Reactions to Supernova Explosions

A.S. Botvina1,2, I.N. Mishustin2,3
1Institute for Nuclear Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117312 Moscow, Russia
2Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies, J.W. Goethe University, D-60438 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3Kurchatov Institute, Russian Research Center, 123182 Moscow, Russia
Abstract. We present an overview of concepts and results obtained with statistical models in study of nuclear multifragmentation. Developments of statistical and dynamical approaches, and selection of experimental observables for identification of these processes, are outlined. New and important findings, like in-medium modifications of the properties of hot primary fragments, are discussed. We emphasize that multifragmentation process must be included into practical calculations of all kind of nuclear reactions at intermediate and high energies. In particular, they are needed for: spallation nuclear reactions, nuclear waste transmutation (environment protection), electro-nuclear breeding (new methods of energy production), proton and ion therapy (medical applications), radiation protection of space missions (space research). Another important application of multifragmentation process is to investigate the phase diagram of nuclear matter at subnuclear densities and temperatures expected during many astrophysical processes. We demonstrate that the experimental information on properties of hot nuclei in dense surrounding available from multifragmentation studies is crucial for construction of a reliable equation of state of stellar matter and modeling nuclear composition in supernovae explosions.

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