AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 171 Supernovae
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[171.19] Neutronization and Energetics of Type Ia Supernovae

I.R. Seitenzahl, F. Peng, D.M. Townsley (University of Chicago), A.C. Calder (Flash Center, University of Chicago)

Type Ia supernovae are critical distance indicators for cosmology. The lightcurves are powered by the decay of radioactive nickel and cobalt isotopes. The amount of nickel produced in the supernova event depends on the detailed trajectories of the hydrodynamic evolution of the explosion. A key ingredient in numerical simulations of the deflagration phase of Type Ia supernovae is the nuclear flame model. A realistic model must accurately describe the nuclear energy released, the timescale on which the energy release occurs, and the changes in composition that constitute the burning. Once the flame has passed, the hot products of the burning constitute a nuclear statistical equilibrium (NSE) abundance distribution. Since the NSE abundances, and hence derived quantities such as the mean binding energy per nucleon, are functions of the density, temperature and electron fraction, it is important to continuously adjust the NSE state of the ashes during the hydrodynamic evolution of the star. Weak interactions influence the energetics and evolution via the change in degeneracy pressure due to captured electrons, the energy losses carried away by neutrinos, and the readjustment of the NSE state following a change in the electron fraction. We have developed a NSE-based model, which implements these features for a hydrodynamical evolution code.

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