Core Collapse Supernovae: Black Holes and Neutrinos
December 06, 2011
Abstract: Core-collapse supernovae are some of the most explosive high-energy astrophysical events in our universe. They are the result of the collapse of the iron core in an evolved massive star (M > 8-10 solar masses). The collapse is halted when the collapsing core reaches nuclear densities, at which point the core-collapse supernova central engine takes over. We know that the central engine must eventually drive an explosion in some fraction of massive stars, however, after over 40 years of theoretical research we still do not completely understand this core-collapse supernova mechanism. In this talk, I will review the state of core-collapse supernova theory. I will also discuss our work at Caltech on both the success and failure of the core-collapse supernova mechanism. For looking at the success, we considered the possibility that collective neutrino oscillations may enhance the neutrino mechanism. If a core-collapse supernova fails, a black hole is the result. I will discuss our predictions for black hole populations from failed supernova.