Stan Woosley

University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California, United States

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Publications (43)211.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Thus far, judging the fate of a massive star (either a neutron star (NS) or a black hole) solely by its structure prior to core collapse has been ambiguous. Our work and previous attempts find a non-monotonic variation of successful and failed supernovae with zero-age main-sequence mass, for which no single structural parameter can serve as a good predictive measure. However, we identify two parameters computed from the pre-collapse structure of the progenitor, which in combination allow for a clear separation of exploding and non-exploding cases with only few exceptions (∼1–2.5%) in our set of 621 investigated stellar models. One parameter is M4, defining the enclosed mass for a dimensionless entropy per nucleon of s = 4, and the other is µ4 ≡ dm/dr|s=4, being the mass-derivative at this location. The two parameters µ4 and M4µ4 can be directly linked to the mass-infall rate, M˙ , of the collapsing star and the electron-type neutrino luminosity of the accreting proto-NS, Lνe ∝ MnsM˙ , which play a crucial role in the “critical luminosity” concept for the theoretical description of neutrino-driven explosions as runaway phenomenon of the stalled accretion shock. All models were evolved employing the approach of Ugliano et al. for simulating neutrino-driven explosions in spherical symmetry. The neutrino emission of the accretion layer is approximated by a gray transport solver, while the uncertain neutrino emission of the 1.1 M� proto-NS core is parametrized by an analytic model. The free parameters connected to the core-boundary prescription are calibrated to reproduce the observables of Supernova 1987A for five different progenitor models.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2015; · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of the stellar feedback from Population III (Pop III) binaries by employing improved, more realistic Pop III evolutionary stellar models. To facilitate a meaningful comparison, we consider a fixed mass of incorporated in Pop III stars, either contained in a single star, or split up in binary stars of each or an asymmetric case of one and one star. Whereas the sizes of the resulting H ii regions are comparable across all cases, the He iii regions around binary stars are significantly smaller than that of the single star. Consequently, the He+ 1640 recombination line is expected to become much weaker. Supernova (SN) feedback exhibits great variety due to the uncertainty in possible explosion pathways. If at least one of the component stars dies as a hypernova about 10 times more energetic than conventional core-collapse SNe, the gas inside the host minihalo is effectively blown out, chemically enriching the intergalactic medium (IGM) to an average metallicity of , out to . The single star, however, is more likely to collapse into a black hole, accompanied by at most very weak explosions. The effectiveness of early chemical enrichment would thus be significantly reduced, in contrast to the lower mass binary stars, where at least one component is likely to contribute to heavy element production and dispersal. Important new feedback physics is also introduced if close binaries can form high-mass X-ray binaries, leading to the pre-heating and -ionization of the IGM beyond the extent of the stellar H ii regions.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2015; 802(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/802/1/13 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of the stellar feedback from Pop~III binaries by employing improved, more realistic Pop~III evolutionary stellar models. To facilitate a meaningful comparison, we consider a fixed mass of 60 solar masses (Msun) incorporated in Pop~III stars, either contained in a single star, or split up in binary stars of 30 Msun each or an asymmetric case of one 45 Msun and one 15 Msun star. Whereas the sizes of the resulting HII regions are comparable across all cases, the HeIII regions around binary stars are significantly smaller than that of the single star. Consequently, the He$^{+}$ 1640 angstrom recombination line is expected to become much weaker. Supernova feedback exhibits great variety due to the uncertainty in possible explosion pathways. If at least one of the component stars dies as a hypernova about ten times more energetic than conventional core-collapse supernovae, the gas inside the host minihalo is effectively blown out, chemically enriching the intergalactic medium (IGM) to an average metallicity of $10^{-4}-10^{-3}$ solar metallicity (Zsun), out to $\sim 2$ kpc. The single star, however, is more likely to collapse into a black hole, accompanied by at most very weak explosions. The effectiveness of early chemical enrichment would thus be significantly reduced, in difference from the lower mass binary stars, where at least one component is likely to contribute to heavy element production and dispersal. Important new feedback physics is also introduced if close binaries can form high-mass x-ray binaries, leading to the pre-heating and -ionization of the IGM beyond the extent of the stellar HII regions.
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    ABSTRACT: Observational evidence suggests that some very massive stars in the local Universe may die as pair-instability supernovae. We present 2D simulations of the pair-instability supernova of a non-zero metallicity star. We find that very little mixing occurs in this explosion because metals in the stellar envelope drive strong winds that strip the hydrogen envelope from the star prior to death. Consequently, a reverse shock cannot form and trigger fluid instabilities during the supernova. Only weak mixing driven by nuclear burning occurs in the earliest stages of the supernova, and it is too weak to affect the observational signatures of the explosion.
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    ABSTRACT: Numerical studies of primordial star formation suggest that the first stars in the universe may have been very massive. Stellar models indicate that non-rotating Population III stars with initial masses of 140-260 Msun die as highly energetic pair-instability supernovae. We present new two-dimensional simulations of primordial pair-instability supernovae done with the CASTRO code. Our simulations begin at earlier times than previous multidimensional models, at the onset of core collapse, to capture any dynamical instabilities that may be seeded by collapse and explosive burning. Such instabilities could enhance explosive yields by mixing hot ash with fuel, thereby accelerating nuclear burning, and affect the spectra of the supernova by dredging up heavy elements from greater depths in the star at early times. Our grid of models includes both blue supergiants and red supergiants over the range in progenitor mass expected for these events. We find that fluid instabilities driven by oxygen and helium burning arise at the upper and lower boundaries of the oxygen shell $\sim$ 20 - 100 seconds after core bounce. Instabilities driven by burning freeze out after the SN shock exits the helium core. As the shock later propagates through the hydrogen envelope, a strong reverse shock forms that drives the growth of Rayleigh--Taylor instabilities. In red supergiant progenitors, the amplitudes of these instabilities are sufficient to mix the supernova ejecta.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2014; 792(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/44 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of supermassive Population III stars with masses $\gtrsim$ 10,000 Msun in primeval galaxies in strong UV backgrounds at $z \sim$ 15 may be the most viable pathway to the formation of supermassive black holes by $z \sim$ 7. Most of these stars are expected to live for short times and then directly collapse to black holes, with little or no mass loss over their lives. But we have now discovered that non-rotating primordial stars with masses close to 55,000 Msun can instead die as highly energetic thermonuclear supernovae powered by explosive helium burning, releasing up to 10$ ^{55}$ erg, or about 10,000 times the energy of a Type Ia supernova. The explosion is triggered by the general relativistic contribution of thermal photons to gravity in the core of the star, which causes the core to contract and explosively burn. The energy release completely unbinds the star, leaving no compact remnant, and about half of the mass of the star is ejected into the early cosmos in the form of heavy elements. The explosion would be visible in the near infrared at $z \lesssim$ 20 to {\it Euclid} and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), perhaps signaling the birth of supermassive black hole seeds and the first quasars.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2014; 790(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/790/2/162 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Massive stars that end their lives with helium cores in the range of 35 to 65 Msun are known to produce repeated thermonuclear outbursts due to a recurring pair-instability. In some of these events, solar masses of material are ejected in repeated outbursts of several times 10$^{50}$ erg each. Collisions between these shells can sometimes produce very luminous transients that are visible from the edge of the observable universe. Previous 1D studies of these events produce thin, high-density shells as one ejection plows into another. Here, in the first multidimensional simulations of these collisions, we show that the development of a Rayleigh-Taylor instability truncates the growth of the high density spike and drives mixing between the shells. The progenitor is a 110 Msun solar-metallicity star that was shown in earlier work to produce a superluminous supernova. The light curve of this more realistic model has a peak luminosity and duration that are similar to those of 1D models but a structure that is smoother.
    02/2014; 792(1). DOI:10.1063/1.3518864
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    ABSTRACT: Merging carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs are a promising progenitor system for Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia), but the underlying physics and timing of the detonation are still debated. If an explosion occurs after the secondary star is fully disrupted, the exploding primary will expand into a dense CO medium that may still have a disk-like structure. This interaction will decelerate and distort the ejecta. Here we carry out multi-dimensional simulations of ``tamped" SN Ia models, using both particle and grid-based codes to study the merger and explosion dynamics, and a radiative transfer code to calculate synthetic spectra and light curves. We find that post-merger explosions exhibit an hourglass-shaped asymmetry, leading to strong variations in the light curves with viewing angle. The two most important factors affecting the outcome are the scale-height of the disk, which depends sensitively on the binary mass ratio, and the total ${}^{56}$Ni yield, which is governed by the central density of the remnant core. The synthetic broadband light curves rise and decline very slowly, and the spectra generally look peculiar, with weak features from intermediate mass elements but relatively strong carbon absorption. We also consider the effects of the viscous evolution of the remnant, and show that a longer time delay between merger and explosion probably leads to larger ${}^{56}$Ni yields and more symmetrical remnants. We discuss the relevance of this class of aspherical ``tamped" SN Ia for explaining the class of ``super-Chandrasekhar'' SN Ia.
    The Astrophysical Journal 12/2013; 788(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/788/1/75 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    Tuguldur Sukhbold, Stan Woosley
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    ABSTRACT: The success or failure of the neutrino-transport mechanism for producing a supernova in an evolved massive star is known to be sensitive not only to the mass of the iron core that collapses, but also to the density gradient in the silicon and oxygen shells surrounding that core. Here we study the systematics of a presupernova core's "compactness" (O'Connor & Ott 2011) as a function of the mass of the star and the physics used in its calculation. Fine-meshed surveys of presupernova evolution are calculated for stars from 15 to 65 Msun. The metallicity and the efficiency of semiconvection and overshoot mixing are both varied and bare carbon-oxygen cores are explored as well as full hydrogenic stars. Two different codes, KEPLER and MESA, are used for the study. A complex interplay of carbon and oxygen burning, especially in shells, can cause rapid variations in the compactness for stars of very nearly the same mass. On larger scales, the distribution of compactness with main sequence mass is found to be robustly non-monotonic, implying islands of "explodability", particularly around 8 to 20 Msun and 25 to 30 Msun. The carbon-oxygen (CO) core mass of a presupernova star is a better, though still ambiguous discriminant of its core structure than the main sequence mass.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 783(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/783/1/10 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Merging white dwarfs are a possible progenitor of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). While it is not entirely clear if and when an explosion is triggered in such systems, numerical models suggest that a detonation might be initiated before the stars have coalesced to form a single compact object. Here we study such "peri-merger" detonations by means of numerical simulations, modeling the disruption and nucleosynthesis of the stars until the ejecta reach the coasting phase. Synthetic light curves and spectra are generated for comparison with observations. Three models are considered with primary masses 0.96 Msun, 1.06 Msun, and 1.20 Msun. Of these, the 0.96 Msun dwarf merging with an 0.81 Msun companion, with a Ni56 yield of 0.58 Msun, is the most promising candidate for reproducing common SNe Ia. The more massive mergers produce unusually luminous SNe Ia with peak luminosities approaching those attributed to "super-Chandrasekhar" mass SNe Ia. While the synthetic light curves and spectra of some of the models resemble observed SNe Ia, the significant asymmetry of the ejecta leads to large orientation effects. The peak bolometric luminosity varies by more than a factor of 2 with the viewing angle, and the velocities of the spectral absorption features are lower when observed from angles where the light curve is brightest. The largest orientation effects are seen in the ultraviolet, where the flux varies by more than an order of magnitude. Despite the large variation with viewing angle, the set of three models roughly obeys a width-luminosity relation, with the brighter light curves declining more slowly in the B-band. Spectral features due to unburned carbon from the secondary star are also seen in some cases.
    The Astrophysical Journal 11/2013; 785(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/785/2/105 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results from our 3D simulations of thermonuclear supernovae from the stars with initial masses above 80 solar masses by using CASTRO, a new, massively parallel, multidimensional Eulerian, adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), radiation-hydrodynamics code. We first use Kepler, a one-dimensional spherically-symmetric Lagrangian code to model the possible explosions beyond hypernovae. These extreme explosions include two types of electron/positron production instability supernovae and one type of general relativity instability supernovae. The resulting 1D presupernova profiles are mapped onto 3D grids of CASTRO as initial conditions. We simulate the explosion in 3D and resolve the emergent fluid instabilities. In this talk, we will discuss the energetics, nucleosynthesis, and possible observational signatures of these supernovae.
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    Elizabeth Lovegrove, Stan Woosley
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    ABSTRACT: The continuing difficulty of achieving a reliable explosion in simulations of core-collapse supernovae, especially for more massive stars, has led to speculation concerning the observable transients that might be produced if such a supernova fails. Even if a prompt outgoing shock fails to form in a collapsing presupernova star, one must still consider the hydrodynamic response of the star to the abrupt loss of mass via neutrinos as the core forms a protoneutron star. Following a suggestion by Nadezhin (1980), we calculate the hydrodynamical responses of typical supernova progenitor stars to the rapid loss of approximately 0.2 to 0.5 M_sun of gravitational mass from their centers. In a red supergiant star, a very weak supernova with total kinetic energy ~ 10^47 erg results. The binding energy of a large fraction of the hydrogen envelope before the explosion is of the same order and, depending upon assumptions regarding the neutrino loss rates, most of it is ejected. Ejection speeds are ~ 100 km/s and luminosities ~ 10^39 erg/s are maintained for about a year. A significant part of the energy comes from the recombination of hydrogen. The color of the explosion is extremely red and the events bear some similarity to "luminous red novae," but have much lower speeds.
    The Astrophysical Journal 03/2013; 769(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/769/2/109 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prologue C. Kouveliotou, R. A . M. J. Wijers and S. E. Woosley; 1. The discovery of the gamma-ray burst phenomenon R. W. Klebesadel; 2. Instrumental principles E. E. Fenimore; 3. The BATSE era G. J. Fishman and C. A. Meegan; 4. The cosmological era L. Piro and K. Hurley; 5. The Swift era N. Gehrels and D. N. Burrows; 6. Discoveries enabled by multi-wavelength afterglow observations of gamma-ray bursts J. Greiner; 7. Prompt emission from gamma-ray bursts T. Piran, R. Sari and R. Mochkovitch; 8. Basic gamma-ray burst afterglows P. Mészáros and R. A. M. J. Wijers; 9. The GRB-supernova connection J. Hjorth and J. S. Bloom; 10. Models for gamma-ray burst progenitors and central engines S. E. Woosley; 11. Jets and gamma-ray burst unification schemes J. Granot and E. Ramirez-Ruiz; 12. High-energy cosmic rays and neutrinos E. Waxman; 13. Long gamma-ray burst host galaxies and their environments J. P. U. Fynbo, D. Malesani and P. Jakobsson; 14. Gamma-ray burst cosmology V. Bromm and A. Loeb; 15. Epilogue R. D. Blandford; Index.
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    ABSTRACT: We present our results of numerical simulations of the most massive primordial stars. For the extremely massive non-rotating Pop III stars over 300Msolar, they would simply die as black holes. But the Pop III stars with initial masses 140 - 260Msolar may have died as gigantic explosions called pair-instability supernovae (PSNe). We use a new radiation-hydrodynamics code CASTRO to study evolution of PSNe. Our models follow the entire explosive burning and the explosion until the shock breaks out from the stellar surface. In our simulations, we find that fluid instabilities occurred during the explosion. These instabilities are driven by both nuclear burning and hydrodynamical instability. In the red supergiant models, fluid instabilities can lead to significant mixing of supernova ejecta and alter the observational signature.
    09/2012; DOI:10.1063/1.4754380
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    ABSTRACT: Using non-LTE time-dependent radiative-transfer calculations, we study the impact of mixing and non-thermal processes associated with radioactive decay on SN IIb/Ib/Ic light curves (LCs) and spectra. Starting with short-period binary models of \leq5Msun He-rich stars (18-25Msun on the main-sequence), we produce 1.2B ejecta which we artificially mix to alter the chemical stratification. While the total 56Ni mass influences the LC peak, the spatial distribution of 56Ni, controlled by mixing processes, impacts both the multi-band LCs and spectra. With enhanced mixing, our synthetic LCs start their post-breakout re-brightening phase earlier, follow a more gradual rise to peak, appear redder, and fade faster after peak due to enhanced gamma-ray escape. Non-thermal electrons, crucial for the production of HeI lines, deposit a dominant fraction of their energy as heat. Because energy deposition is generally local well after the LC peak, the broad HeI lines characteristic of maximum-light SN IIb/Ib spectra require mixing that places 56Ni and helium nuclei to within a gamma-ray mean-free-path. This requirement indicates that SNe IIb and Ib most likely arise from the explosion of stripped-envelope massive stars (main-sequence masses \leq25Msun) that have evolved through mass-transfer in a binary system, rather than from more massive single WR stars. In contrast, the lack of HeI lines in SNe Ic may result from a variety of causes: A genuine helium deficiency; strongly-asymmetric mixing; weak mixing; or a more massive, perhaps single, progenitor characterized by a larger oxygen-rich core. Our models, subject to different mixing magnitudes, can produce a variety of SN types, including IIb, IIc, Ib, and Ic. As it is poorly constrained by explosion models, mixing challenges our ability to infer the progenitor and explosion properties of SNe IIb/Ib/Ic.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2012; 424(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21374.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extremely luminous supernovae such as SN 2006gy challenge the traditional view of core collapse supernovae, because they seem too luminous by more than one order of magnitude. Their unusual brightness might be explained by the collisions between shells of matter ejected by these massive stars at the end of their lives, so called pulsational pair-instability supernovae (PPSNe). We present the results from our multidimensional simulations of PPSNe with the state-of-the-art radiation-hydro code, CASTRO. We find significant amounts of fluid instabilities occurred during the shells apostrophe collisions and discuss how the resulting mixing affects the observational signature of PPSNe.
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    ABSTRACT: We model neutrino emission from a newly born neutron star subsequent to a supernova explosion to study its sensitivity to the equation of state, neutrino opacities, and convective instabilities at high baryon density. We find the time period and spatial extent over which convection operates is sensitive to the behavior of the nuclear symmetry energy at and above nuclear density. When convection ends within the proto-neutron star, there is a break in the predicted neutrino emission that may be clearly observable.
    Physical Review Letters 02/2012; 108(6):061103. DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.061103 · 7.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy and photometry of four Type Ia supernovae (SNe 2004dt, 2004ef, 2005M, and 2005cf) obtained with the UV prism of the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. This dataset provides unique spectral time series down to 2000 Angstrom. Significant diversity is seen in the near maximum-light spectra (~ 2000--3500 Angstrom) for this small sample. The corresponding photometric data, together with archival data from Swift Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope observations, provide further evidence of increased dispersion in the UV emission with respect to the optical. The peak luminosities measured in uvw1/F250W are found to correlate with the B-band light-curve shape parameter dm15(B), but with much larger scatter relative to the correlation in the broad-band B band (e.g., ~0.4 mag versus ~0.2 mag for those with 0.8 < dm15 < 1.7 mag). SN 2004dt is found as an outlier of this correlation (at > 3 sigma), being brighter than normal SNe Ia such as SN 2005cf by ~0.9 mag and ~2.0 mag in the uvw1/F250W and uvm2/F220W filters, respectively. We show that different progenitor metallicity or line-expansion velocities alone cannot explain such a large discrepancy. Viewing-angle effects, such as due to an asymmetric explosion, may have a significant influence on the flux emitted in the UV region. Detailed modeling is needed to disentangle and quantify the above effects.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2011; 749(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/749/2/126 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present non-LTE time-dependent radiative-transfer simulations of supernova (SN) IIb/Ib/Ic spectra and light curves, based on ~1B-energy piston-driven ejecta, with and without 56Ni, produced from single and binary Wolf-Rayet (W-R) stars evolved at solar and sub-solar metallicities. Our bolometric light curves show a 10-day long post-breakout plateau with a luminosity of 1-5x10^7Lsun. In our 56Ni-rich models, with ~3Msun ejecta masses, this plateau precedes a 20-30-day long re-brightening phase initiated by the outward-diffusing heat wave powered by radioactive decay at depth. In low ejecta-mass models with moderate mixing, Gamma-ray leakage starts as early as ~50d after explosion and causes the nebular luminosity to steeply decline by ~0.02mag/d. Such signatures, which are observed in standard SNe IIb/Ib/Ic, are consistent with low-mass progenitors derived from a binary-star population. We propose that the majority of stars with an initial mass ~<20Msun yield SNe II-P if 'effectively" single, SNe IIb/Ib/Ic if part of a close binary system, and SN-less black holes if more massive. Our ejecta, with outer hydrogen mass fractions as low as ~>0.01 and a total hydrogen mass of ~>0.001Msun, yield the characteristic SN IIb spectral morphology at early times. However, by ~15d after the explosion, only Halpha may remain as a weak absorption feature. Our binary models, characterised by helium surface mass fractions of ~>0.85, systematically show HeI lines during the post-breakout plateau, irrespective of the 56Ni abundance. Synthetic spectra show a strong sensitivity to metallicity, which offers the possibility to constrain it directly from SN spectroscopic modelling.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 02/2011; 414. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18598.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • Daniel Kasen, Stan Woosley, Alex Heger
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    ABSTRACT: For the initial mass range 140<M<260 M☉, stars die in a thermonuclear runaway triggered by the pair‐production instability. Their supernovae can be remarkably energetic and synthesize considerable amounts of radioactive isotopes. We present a set of calculations modeling the evolution, explosion, and observational signatures of pair‐instability supernovae spanning a range of initial masses and envelope structures. We compare the resulting light curves and spectra to recent observations of luminous nearby supernovae, including the most compelling candidate pair‐instability event to date, SN2007bi.
    11/2010; 1294(1):96-101. DOI:10.1063/1.3518898

Publication Stats

1k Citations
211.63 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Santa Cruz, California, United States
  • 2013
    • University of California, Berkeley
      • Department of Physics
      Berkeley, California, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Chicago
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      Chicago, Illinois, United States