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Published March 7, 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Role of collective neutrino flavor oscillations in core-collapse supernova shock revival


We explore the effects of collective neutrino flavor oscillations due to neutrino-neutrino interactions on the neutrino heating behind a stalled core-collapse supernova shock. We carry out axisymmetric (two-dimensional) radiation-hydrodynamic core-collapse supernova simulations, tracking the first 400 ms of the post-core-bounce evolution in 11.2-M_⊙ and 15-M_⊙ progenitor stars. Using inputs from these two-dimensional simulations, we perform neutrino flavor oscillation calculations in multienergy single-angle and multiangle single-energy approximations. Our results show that flavor conversions do not set in until close to or outside the stalled shock, enhancing heating by not more than a few percent in the most optimistic case. Consequently, we conclude that the postbounce preexplosion dynamics of standard core-collapse supernovae remains unaffected by neutrino oscillations. Multiangle effects in regions of high electron density can further inhibit collective oscillations, strengthening our conclusion.

Additional Information

© 2012 American Physical Society. Received 6 June 2011; revised 15 September 2011; published 7 March 2012. We are indebted to E. Livne and A. Burrows for kindly allowing us to use simulation results obtained with VULCAN/2D in this work. Furthermore, we acknowledge helpful discussions with J. Beacom, A. Burrows, A. Dighe, T. Fischer, E. Livne, O. Pejcha, G. Raffelt, and T. Thompson. B. D. thanks A. Mirizzi for a useful exchange of preliminary results. C. D. O. wishes to thank M. Kamionkowski for the inspiration to work on this subject and is indebted to P. Vogel for initial discussions and help with neutrino oscillations. B. D. and C. D. O. would like to thank the organizers of JIGSAW-2010 at TIFR, Mumbai, where this project was conceived. This research is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. AST-0855535 and No. OCI-0905046 and by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. E. P. C. is supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Results presented in this article were obtained through calculations on the Caltech compute cluster Zwicky (NSF MRI No. PHY-0960291), on the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative supercomputing systems under allocation loni_numrel06, on the NSF TeraGrid under No. TG-PHY100033, and on resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DEAC02- 05CH11231.

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