A simple approach to the supernova progenitor–explosion connection

Bernhard Mueller, Alexander Heger, David Liptai, Joshua B. Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)
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We present a new approach to understand the landscape of supernova explosion energies, ejected nickel masses, and neutron star birth masses. In contrast to other recent parametric approaches, our model predicts the properties of neutrino-driven explosions based on the pre-collapse stellar structure without the need for hydrodynamic simulations. The model is based on physically motivated scaling laws and simple differential equations describing the shock propagation, the contraction of the neutron star, the neutrino emission, the heating conditions, and the explosion energetics. Using model parameters compatible with multi-D simulations and a fine grid of thousands of supernova progenitors, we obtain a variegated landscape of neutron star and black hole formation similar to other parametrized approaches and find good agreement with semi-empirical measures for the ‘explodability’ of massive stars. Our predicted explosion properties largely conform to observed correlations between the nickel mass and explosion energy. Accounting for the coexistence of outflows and downflows during the explosion phase, we naturally obtain a positive correlation between explosion energy and ejecta mass. These correlations are relatively robust against parameter variations, but our results suggest that there is considerable leeway in parametric models to widen or narrow the mass ranges for black hole and neutron star formation and to scale explosion energies up or down. Our model is currently limited to an all-or-nothing treatment of fallback and there remain some minor discrepancies between model predictions and observational constraints.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)742-764
Number of pages23
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date06 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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