Accurately Modeling Detonations in Sub-Chandrasekhar Mass Type Ia Supernovae

Broxton Miles (University of Alabama) - October 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm

Accurately reproducing the physics behind the detonations of Type Ia supernovae and the resultant nucleosynthetic yields is important for interpreting observations of photospheric spectra and remnants. The scales of the processes involved span orders of magnitudes, making the problem computationally impossible to ever fully resolve in full star simulations. Consequently, studies have resorted to using sub-grid models to capture the energetics of the explosion and post-processing the results with large nuclear networks to calculate nucleosynthetic results. These sub-grid models should have accurate treatments of detonation physics such as curvature or shock strengthening. In the lower density regions of the star, the curvature of the detonation front will slow the detonation, affecting the production of intermediate mass elements. In this same region of the progenitor, the density sharply decreases outward and this may strengthen the detonation causing more complete burning than would be expected at these densities. In order to verify the results of calculations using sub-grid models, it is imperative there be a set of benchmark calculations with which to compare. We aim to produce such results by completing one dimensional, high resolution calculations with large reaction networks and comparing to the results of fully resolved calculations of steady-state detonations. We utilize the open source hydrodynamics software instrument FLASH in conjunction with the reaction network from Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA). The MESA reaction network is used in both the explosion simulations as well as the post-processing for consistency. Improving the accuracy of models will allow for better prediction, comparison, and interpretation of nucleosynthetic results.

The seminar will be held in 131A Campbell Hall.

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