research contact: Tony Mezzacappa
Core collapse supernovae are responsible for producing and dispersing many of the
elements in the periodic table, such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, without which life would not be possible.
ORNL's astrophysics program is focused on the study of stellar explosions, i.e., novae, Type Ia supernovae, and
core collapse supernovae, and nucleosynthesis. The future in supernova modeling will see increasingly
sophisticated multidimensional simulations with ever improving physics, particularly multidimensional
neutrino (radiation) transport. The ultimate goal is to ascertain the key ingredients that constitute the core
collapse supernova mechanism.
Supernova 1987A confirmed the basic neutrino heating paradigm.
||Shown in this Hubble Space Telescope image are the famous rings of supernova 1987A in the Large
Magellanic Cloud. This famous core collapse supernovae has provided vast quantities of data which has helped
to discern supernova models. The first terrestrial detection of supernova neutrinos occurred with this supernova,
which confirmed the basic neutrino heating paradigm for powering these catastrophic events.|
The evolution of convection within the proto-neutron star
|Shown are five snapshots in the evolution of convection within the proto-neutron star, which is
forming at the center of the explosion and radiating the neutrinos that power the explosion at the staggering rate
of 10 billion, billion, billion, billion, billion Watts! Proto-neutron star convection may aid in boosting the
luminosity of this central, intense "neutrino bulb."|
The evolution of "neutrino-driven" convection behind the supernova shock
|Shown are four snapshots in the evolution of "neutrino-driven" convection behind the
supernova shock wave, which may aid the neutrino heating by the proto-neutron star in powering the
ORNL SC98 exhibit