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Physics Colloquium: Simulation of Type Ia Supernovae in the Double-Degenerate Model


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Physics Colloquium: Simulation of Type Ia Supernovae in the Double-Degenerate Model

Category: College Of Engineering - Phy
Date & Time: Wednesday, 10/03/2012
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Location: Seng 102
Admission: Free!
Contact: Robert Fisher
rfisher1@umassd.edu
508-999-8353
Description: Student Presentations

Pascal Cremer, Universit├Ąt Bonn, DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst)

RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) Summer Intern

Suoqing Ji, UMass Dartmouth Physics M.S. Student

Advisor : Robert Fisher

Title : "Simulation of Type Ia Supernovae in the Double-Degenerate Model"

White dwarfs are stellar remnants with very unique properties. They have masses about the mass of the sun in a volume as small as the moon. When the total mass of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf gets close to a value of 1.4 solar masses -- the Chandrasekhar limit -- it explodes in a Type Ia Supernova with a brightness comparable to a whole galaxy. These types of supernovae typically explode with nearly the same brightness, and therefore are used as standard candles to measure distances across the cosmos. The mass needed to reach the Chandrasekhar limit is accreted from a companion of the white dwarf, though it is still unclear if this companion is a red giant or main sequence star, or another white dwarf. In this research we focus on the double-degenerate model describing the merging of two white dwarfs, and explore the conditions under which these may give rise to a detonation powering the Type Ia Supernova event.

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