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The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


We calculate and discuss the chemical evolution of the isotopic silicon abundances in the interstellar medium (ISM) at distances and times appropriate to the birth of the solar system. This has several objectives, some of which are related to anomalous silicon isotope ratios within presolar grains extracted from meteorites; namely: (1) What is the relative importance for silicon isotopic compositions in the bulk ISM of Type II supernovae, Type Ia supernovae, and AGB stars? (2) Are 29Si and 30Si primary or secondary nucleosynthesis products? (3) In what isotopic direction in a three-isotope plot do core-collapse supernovae of different mass move the silicon isotopic composition? (4) Why do present calcu-lations not reproduce the solar ratios for silicon isotopes, and what does that impose upon studies of anomalous Si isotopes in meteoritic silicon carbide grains? (5) Are chemical-evolution features recorded in the anomalous SiC grains? Our answers are formulated on the basis of the Woosley & Weaver super-nova yield survey. Renormalization with the calculated interstellar medium silicon isotopic composition and solar composition is as an important and recurring concept of this paper. Possible interpretations of the silicon isotope anomalies measured in single SiC grains extracted from carbonaceous meteorites are then presented. The calculations suggest that the temporal evolution of the isotopic silicon abundances in the interstellar medium may be recorded in these grains.