Looking deeper into violent neutron star collisions to find the origins of heavy elements

A recent article by an international research team from the Helmholtz Institute Jena, the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland, demonstrated that a forbidden magnetic dipole transition between the levels of the ground-state doublet of singly ionized tin gives rise to a prominent feature in kilonova emission spectra. Atomic data, such as that provided in this study, are essential to better understand neutron star mergers, which are expected to be some of the main cosmic processes violent enough to produce the extreme conditions required for the creation of many of the universe’s heaviest elements.

Original publication: A. I. Bondarev, J. H. Gillanders, C. Cheung, M. S. Safronova, S. Fritzsche: Calculations of multipole transitions in Sn II for kilonova analysis. Eur. Phys. J. D 77, 126 (2023), DOI: 10.1140/epjd/s10053-023-00695-5

The complete press release can be found here.