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The Three-Dimensional Evolution to Core Collapse of a Massive Star

Couch, Sean M. and Chatzopoulos, Emmanouil and Arnett, W. David and Timmes, F. X. (2015) The Three-Dimensional Evolution to Core Collapse of a Massive Star. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 808 (1). Art. No. L21. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/808/1/L21.

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We present the first three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the final minutes of iron core growth in a massive star, up to and including the point of core gravitational instability and collapse. We capture the development of strong convection driven by violent Si burning in the shell surrounding the iron core. This convective burning builds the iron core to its critical mass and collapse ensues, driven by electron capture and photodisintegration. The non-spherical structure and motion generated by 3D convection is substantial at the point of collapse, with convective speeds of several hundreds of km s^(−1). We examine the impact of such physically realistic 3D initial conditions on the core-collapse supernova mechanism using 3D simulations including multispecies neutrino leakage and find that the enhanced post-shock turbulence resulting from 3D progenitor structure aids successful explosions. We conclude that non-spherical progenitor structure should not be ignored, and should have a significant and favorable impact on the likelihood for neutrino-driven explosions. In order to make simulating the 3D collapse of an iron core feasible, we were forced to make approximations to the nuclear network making this effort only a first step toward accurate, self-consistent 3D stellar evolution models of the end states of massive stars.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Paper
Timmes, F. X.0000-0002-0474-159X
Additional Information:© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 March 6; accepted 2015 June 22; published 2015 July 21. We thank J. Fuller, C. Graziani, C. Meakin, C. Ott, and M. Zingale for many valuable conversations. S.M.C. is supported by the National Science Foundation under award No. AST- 1212170. E.C. would like to thank the Enrico Fermi Institute for its support. F.X.T. thanks NASA for partial support under TCAN award NNX14AB53G. This research was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under award No. AST-1107445 at the University of Arizona. The software used in this work was in part developed by the DOE NNSA-ASC OASCR Flash Center at the University of Chicago. This research used computational resources at ALCF at ANL, which is supported by the Office of Science of the US Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357, and at TACC under NSF XSEDE allocation TG-PHY100033.
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-06CH11357
Subject Keywords:convection; hydrodynamics; nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances; stars: evolution; supernovae: general; turbulence
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150831-110107824
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Official Citation:The Three-dimensional Evolution to Core Collapse of a Massive Star Sean M. Couch et al. 2015 ApJ 808 L21
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59988
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Sep 2015 03:35
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:28

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