Presentation #524.03 in the session “Black Holes”.
Recent detection of a binary black hole merger between an 85 M⊙ and 66 M⊙ by the LIGO/VIRGO collaboration has reignited debate over whether these black holes are formed by stellar evolution, or are the result of previous merger events. Massive stars >= 8 M⊙ end their lives in core-collapse supernovae (CCSN). Massive stars >= 20 M⊙ are thought to exclusively form black holes post CCSN. As the mass of these pre-supernova stars (PSN) increases, standard evolutionary theory predicts a gap in the distribution of formed black holes due to the effects of pair-instability. Supernova events are closely tied to the interior structure of PSN. The structure of PSN are in turn coupled to the dynamical nuclear burning processes that occur in the core <= 24 hours before core-collapse. We explore the sensitivity of the transition between core-collapse and pair-instability supernova toward revised 12C(α,γ)16O, 12C(12C,α)20Ne, and 16O(16O,α)28Si nuclear reaction rates as a function of stellar mass.