Monte Carlo variations as a tool to assess nuclear physics uncertainties in nucleosynthesis studies
The propagation of uncertainties in reaction cross sections and rates of neutron-, proton-, and α-induced reactions into the final isotopic abundances obtained in nucleosynthesis models is an important issue in studies of nucleosynthesis and Galactic Chemical Evolution. We developed a Monte Carlo method to allow large-scale postprocessing studies of the impact of nuclear uncertainties on nucleosynthesis. Temperature-dependent rate uncertainties combining realistic experimental and theoretical uncertainties are used. From detailed statistical analyses uncertainties in the final abundances are derived as probability density distributions. Furthermore, based on rate and abundance correlations an automated procedure identifies the most important reactions in complex flow patterns from superposition of many zones or tracers. The method already has been applied to a number of nucleosynthesis processes.