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You are here: Home Science & Projects Deisa Extreme Computing Initiative Projects 2009 - 2010 High-resolution detonation simulation for Type Ia supernovae

High-resolution detonation simulation for Type Ia supernovae

Project SN-DET-hires
Research Area Astro Sciences
Principal Investigator(s) Dr. Friedrich Roepke
  • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany


After exploring the possibilities of a novel scenario of Type Ia supernova explosions in the 2007 DEISA initiative, one selected realization will be investigated in greater detail. Type Ia supernovae are believed to originate from thermonuclear explosions of white dwarf stars. The nuclear burning starts near the center of the star as a slow subsonic flame. In the model under investigation, a transition in the flame propagation mode to a supersonic detonation is incorporated. The transition is due to high turbulence in the late stages of the explosion, but cannot be resolved in largescale three-dimensional models. It is, however, possible to place constraints on the transition by analyzing the scaling properties of the resolved turbulent flow field. This requires high numerical resolution. In previous lower resolved simulations it was found that for a certain set of initial conditions, explosions result that are in excellent agreement with observations of normal Type Ia supernovae. The goal of the project is to perform a flagship simulation with unprecedented resolution that reproduces the characteristics of normal Type Ia supernovae. Postprocessing in a workflow of European collaborators will allow to derive synthetic observables from the model.This has the potential of becoming a standard model for Type Ia supernovae and thus may have impact on a wide range of astrophysical topics from cosmology to galactic nucleosynthetic evolution.

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