The anthropic significance of the existence of an excited state of 12C

Abstract

Were it not for the presence of an excited state of 12C at 7.6 MeV, at the endpoint of the triple-alpha reaction, it would be difficult for stars to manufacture carbon and heavier elements. Calculations using modified triple-alpha rates test the sensitivity of stellar nucleosynthesis to the exact position of this excited state, and allow an empirical assessment of its importance in the anthropic principle in cosmology.

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Livio, M., Hollowell, D., Weiss, A. et al. The anthropic significance of the existence of an excited state of 12C. Nature 340, 281–284 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1038/340281a0

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