Discovering New Dynamics of Core-Collapse Supernova Shock Waves

John M. Blondin
North Carolina State University

There is a growing body of evidence that core-collapse supernova explosions are inherently asymmetric. The origin of this asymmetry may arise in the first few hundred milliseconds after core collapse when the nascent shock wave is susceptible to the spherical accretion shock instability, a dynamical instability discovered through computer simulations by the SciDAC-funded Terascale Supernova Initiative.

This work was followed up by large-scale 3D simulations enabled by the application of various high-performance computing technologies including networking and visualization. Recent 3D simulations have identified a vigorous non-axisymmetric mode of this supernova shock wave that can impart a significant amount of angular momentum to the underlying neutron star.