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Session 12 - Stellar Evolution - Theory.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Exhibit Hall,

[12.11] Measurement of Neutrino-Cooling Effects in Pre-White Dwarf Stars---an Astrophysical Test of Standard Lepton Physics

M. S. O'Brien, S. D. Kawaler (Iowa State Univ.)

In some pre-white dwarf stars, neutrino production in their cores can be the dominant cooling mechanism. For these stars, neutrino emission determines the rate of evolution toward and along the upper white dwarf cooling track. Standard white dwarf evolution models include rates predicted by the standard model of lepton interactions, but the relevant region of phase space has never been tested experimentally. One possible test offered by astronomy would be a determination of the cooling rate of a pre-white dwarf star in which the effects of neutrino cooling dominate cooling by photons. This can be done since several such stars pulsate in non-radial g-modes, and the pulsation periods change with time as a star cools. A vigorous observational campaign could detect these period changes in as little as two or three years. This paper is a progress report on our theoretical work on the sensitivity of stellar evolution rates---as manifest in the changing pulsation periods---to assumed neutrino input physics. We also discuss the prospects of making such a measurement, and identify the best candidates for this work.

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