The Death Throes of Massive Stars: Black Holes, Explosions, and Neutrinos

Triangle Nuclear Theory Colloquium
Evan O'Connor (CITA)

In this talk I will discuss my research on computational simulations of the central engines of core-collapse supernovae, the endgame of massive star evolution. The main message I hope to instill is that not all massive stars are destroyed equally, and that there is, in fact, a great diversity in the products of core collapse. In addition to a brief introduction to core-collapse supernovae, I will focus on three main areas of my research. First, I will shed some light on the question of which core collapse events are more likely to successfully explode as a supernova and which events are more likely to fail and lead the formation of a stellar mass black hole---the so-called un-novae. Second, I will present results where we extended the methods used to study core-collapse supernovae in spherical symmetry to 2D and 3D simulations with the goal of exploring the core-collapse supernova explosion mechanism. I will also present some early results of a systematic study of core collapse in two dimensions. Finally, with neutrino radiation transport simulations in spherical symmetry, I will quantitatively show how the expected neutrino signal at Earth from a Galactic or near-Galactic core-collapse supernova varies with the interior structure of massive stars. This provides a potential way for neutrino astrophysics to help constrain the poorly understood advanced burning stages of stellar evolution. I will elaborate on what is needed to elevate these neutrino predictions to a level where

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - 3:30pm
location: 
Raleigh N.C.
contact: 
Paul, Cristin
660-2491