Wednesday, April 12 2017, 04:00 PM, Room 0G/017, Maths and Physics Teaching Centre
A Trombettoni (SISSA)
Monday, April 10 2017, 04:00 PM, Room 01/006, David Bates Building
Maksym Kovalenko (ETHZ)
Wednesday, April 05 2017, 04:00 PM, Room 0G/017, Maths and Physics Teaching Centre
B Mueller (QUB)
Understanding the explosions of massive stars
Core-collapse supernovae, the violent explosions of massive stars, are among the most spectacular phenomena in astrophysics: Supernovae can only outshine their host galaxy for weeks; they are laboratories for the behaviour of matter at extreme densities; and they also play a central role for the chemical evolution of galaxies, e.g. as the dominant producers of oxygen and many other elements. The most promising scenario for explaining these explosions is the “neutrino-driven mechanism”: After the collapse of the progenitor’s iron core to a neutron star, a shock wave is launched as the neutron star “rebounds” after being compressed to supranuclear densities. The shock does not explode the star right away, it only does so after neutrinos emitted by the hot young neutron star have deposited a sufficient amount of energy behind the shock over time scales of hundreds of milliseconds. In the process, hydrodynamic instabilities like convective overturn grow behind the shock, which aid the neutrino heating and also provide a natural explanation for asymmetries that we observe in supernova explosions. In this talk, I shall review how this process is modelled in complex, three-dimensional radiation hydrodynamics simulations. As I will show, the latest generation of 3D supernova simulations finally promises to unravel the supernova explosion mechanism.