Volume 542, June 2012
|Number of page(s)
|08 June 2012
Production and evolution of Li, Be, and B isotopes in the Galaxy
Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, UMR 7095 CNRS,
Univ. P. & M. Curie, 98bis Bd.
Accepted: 5 April 2012
Context. We reassess the problem of the production and evolution of the light elements Li, Be and B and of their isotopes in the Milky Way in the light of new observational and theoretical developments.
Aims. The main novelty is the introduction of a new scheme for the origin of Galactic cosmic rays (GCR), which for the first time enables a self-consistent calculation of their composition during galactic evolution.
Methods. The scheme accounts for key features of the present-day GCR source composition, it is based on the wind yields of the Geneva models of rotating, mass-losing stars and it is fully coupled to a detailed galactic chemical evolution code.
Results. We find that the adopted GCR source composition accounts naturally for the observations of primary Be and helps understanding why Be follows Fe more closely than O. We find that GCR produce ~70% of the solar 11B/10B isotopic ratio; the remaining 30% of 11B presumably result from ν-nucleosynthesis in massive star explosions. We find that GCR and primordial nucleosynthesis can produce at most ~30% of solar Li. At least half of the solar Li has to originate in low-mass stellar sources (red giants, asymptotic giant branch stars, or novae), but the required average yields of those sources are found to be much higher than obtained in current models of stellar nucleosynthesis. We also present radial profiles of LiBeB elemental and isotopic abundances in the Milky Way disc. We argue that the shape of those profiles – and the late evolution of LiBeB in general – reveals important features of the production of those light elements through primary and secondary processes.
Key words: Galaxy: evolution / nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances / stars: abundances / cosmic rays
© ESO, 2012
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