Recent Topics in Core-Collapse Supernova Theory
February 11, 2013
Abstract: For approximately half a century, core-collapse supernovae have posed a vexing puzzle for theorists despite being a major ingredient (and uncertainty) in fields ranging from stellar and galaxy evolution to the interstellar medium. Historically, advances in core-collapse theory have been linked to advances in computing power and software. Supernovae are inherently multi-dimensional objects in which neutrino transport, gravity and hydrodynamic instabilities play important roles. Three-dimensional simulations incorporating sufficient physical fidelity require extensive high-performance computing resources and codes efficient enough to use the associated architecture. In this talk, I will highlight two recent results — one of which is now well-establised (pulsar kicks as a natural outcome of core collapse) and one which is highly controversial (dependence of the neutrino-mechanism on spatial dimension). During the last ~10-15 minutes of the talk, I will shift gears and discuss a topic near-and-dear to my heart — namely, work I’ve been doing building opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students in astronomy.