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Phys Rev Lett. 2019 Feb 8;122(5):052701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.052701.

Key ^{19}Ne States Identified Affecting γ-Ray Emission from ^{18}F in Novae.

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Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA.
Physics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA.
National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.
Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.
Department of Physics, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, South Korea.
Department of Physics, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
Physics Division, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94551, USA.
Department of Physics and Applied Physics, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, USA.


Detection of nuclear-decay γ rays provides a sensitive thermometer of nova nucleosynthesis. The most intense γ-ray flux is thought to be annihilation radiation from the β^{+} decay of ^{18}F, which is destroyed prior to decay by the ^{18}F(p,α)^{15}O reaction. Estimates of ^{18}F production had been uncertain, however, because key near-threshold levels in the compound nucleus, ^{19}Ne, had yet to be identified. We report the first measurement of the ^{19}F(^{3}He,tγ)^{19}Ne reaction, in which the placement of two long-sought 3/2^{+} levels is suggested via triton-γ-γ coincidences. The precise determination of their resonance energies reduces the upper limit of the rate by a factor of 1.5-17 at nova temperatures and reduces the average uncertainty on the nova detection probability by a factor of 2.1.

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