Neutrino-Hydrodynamic Simulations of Supernova Explosions of Massive Stars


Max-Planck Gesellschaft
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik

Supernova explosions of massive stars are among the most spectacularevents in the universe. They give birth to neutron stars andstellar-mass black holes, produce enormously strong neutrino andgravitational wave signals which will be measured for Galactic eventsby experiments on Earth, and are a major site for the production ofthe heavy elements (nucleosynthesis). The goal of the SuperN projectis to obtain a better understanding of the supernova explosionmechanism (which has puzzled astrophysicists for over 40 years) and topredict observable signatures for these events with the help ofneutrino-hydrodynamics simulations. Recently, we have begun do performthe first multi-dimensional general relativistic simulations ofsupernovae explosions and are now working on better predictions forgravitational waveforms and heavy element yields for a larger numberof progenitor stars. We are also conducting long-time simulations ofthe proto-neutron star cooling phase after the explosion in order todetermine the late-time nucleosynthesis conditions and the neutrinosignal during this phase, which may provide important clues to theproperties of neutron star matter beyond nuclear density.