AAS Meeting #193 - Austin, Texas, January 1999
Session 100. The Quiet and Active Sun
Display, Saturday, January 9, 1999, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall 1

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[100.07] Light Element Production in Solar Flares and Present Solar System Abundance of Li, Be, and B

M. A. Bransford (NMSU), L. A. Willson (ISU)

If production in stellar flares can be ruled out as a significant source of the Li, Be, and B isotopes observed in stellar atmospheres, then observed abundances provide very stringent constraints on stellar mass loss before and during the main sequence phase. Also, stellar surface abundances of these isotopes are often invoked as constraints on Big Bang nucleosynthesis calculations. Thus, it is important to establish reliable limits on the importance of in situ (flare) production of these isotopes. Indeed, the need for reliable limits is becoming increasingly important in light of several recent observational papers suggesting significant flare production of Li, Be, and B.

The question of the possible importance of flare production of these light isotopes may be separated into two specific questions. First, can (or do) solar flares produce Li, Be, and B isotopes in the same ratios as found in the solar photosphere, taking account those slower processes that may modify the abundances ratios after they are formed? Second, are stellar flares energetically capable of producing enough Li, Be, and B to account for the observed abundances? We will present the results of calculations exploring the flare production of these light isotopes, and which address these crucial questions.

How do our calculations differ from those in other investigations? The most significant difference is the choice of the mathematical form for the energy spectrum of flare accelerated particles. Calculations have previously employed a power law form, however, it has been shown that the more appropriate form is a modified Bessel function of order 2. One can derive the Bessel function solution from a Fokker-Planck equation for stochastic Fermi acceleration. The Bessel function is our adopted form for the particle energy spectrum. In order to contrast the flare production of Li, Be, B, and the ratios of the isotopes, based on the choice of the particle energy spectrum, we present calculations employing both forms.

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