AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 119. White Dwarfs
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[119.02] OpenWD: An Open-Source White Dwarf Code

T. S. Metcalfe (CfA), J. M. Gonzalez Perez (U. Tromso), A. W. Irwin (U. Victoria), S. D. Kawaler (Iowa State), M. H. Montgomery (U. Cambridge), D. E. Winget (U. Texas-Austin), M. A. Wood (Florida Tech)

Almost every star in our galaxy will eventually become a white dwarf. Since they are relatively simple compared to main-sequence stars, white dwarfs provide one of the best opportunities for learning about stellar structure and evolution. Studies of pulsating white dwarfs give us the opportunity to learn about their internal composition and structure, and allow us to refine our understanding of their cooling properties. The latter is important if we want to use white dwarf stars as chronometers for stellar populations -- providing an independent method of dating the various components of the galaxy, and yielding a lower limit on the age of the universe.

All studies of this kind rely on detailed computer simulations of white dwarf stars, and our understanding can only be as good as our models. Because of a surge of interest in these areas, many independent codes have been developed in the past few years, each including some subset of the state-of-the-art physics that should ideally be incorporated together. Unfortunately, none of these codes are publicly available, so the collective progress in this area is slower than it needs to be, and the results of studies performed with various codes are difficult to compare.

OpenWD is an attempt to initiate an open, world-wide collaboration to develop a complete, cutting-edge computer code for modeling the evolutionary and pulsational characteristics of white dwarf stars. The project is beginning with a complete FORTRAN code from the public domain to serve as the basis for updates and additions from collaborators who want to contribute modules that include their own prescriptions for various physical ingredients. The resulting code will always be freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL), which also imposes this requirement on any derived works. This will facilitate comparison between versions, and will provide an invaluable tool for research in asteroseismology and cosmochronometry, now and into the future.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://whitedwarf.org/openwd/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: openwd@whitedwarf.org

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