A Supernova in a Jar
February 14, 2011
Abstract: This talk will describe chemical experiments in which an autocatalytic reaction is used to generate rising plumes in a fluid under gravity. The reaction front is very thin, something like a flame front, and the reaction produces buoyancy both by releasing heat and by compositional change. The result is a self-stirred solution in which a small ‘flame’ bubble evolves into a plume with a complex morphology. I will present both experiments and numerical simulations of the evolution of these plumes and ‘flame’ balls. They have some resemblance to the initial stages of the deflagration of type Ia supernovae.