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The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


We calculate with a large nuclear reaction network the nuclear dynamics associated with the expansions and cooling of initially hot and dense matter. We study matter with neutron excess near that of 48Ca, because one objective is to clarify the nucleosynthesis of that abundant neutron-rich nucleus, whose origin has been enigmatic. Expecting that supernovae provide the site of its origin, we take initial temperatures near T9 = 10 but survey a wide range of initial densities, corresponding to a wide range in initial entropies. The highest entropies are probably associated with winds from newborn neutron stars in Type II collapse events, whereas the smallest entropies are probably associated with very high density Type Ia cores. Our survey objective is the analysis of the dynamics of the nuclear assembly as it cools, and how the correct description of it depends on the specific entropy.