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Physics & Astronomy Colloquium
March 18 @ 3:45 pm - March 22 @ 5:00 pm
Speaker: Ken Shen (Berkeley)
Title: The Changing Landscape of Type Ia Supernova Progenitors?
Abstract: Type Ia supernovae play an essential role in cosmic nucleosynthesis and are famous for their contribution to our understanding of cosmology, and yet, despite studying them for centuries, we still do not know what causes these explosions. For decades, supernova researchers have focused on a progenitor scenario involving the slow growth of a white dwarf and an explosion once it reached the Chandrasekhar mass. However, in recent years, major cracks have appeared in this story that have revolutionized our understanding, and alternative scenarios have begun to be explored. I will summarize the advances that have been made and describe one of the most promising scenarios that has arisen: a “double degenerate double detonation,” in which the interaction of two white dwarfs leads to two separate explosions.
The colloquia will be preceded by light refreshments in GL227 from 3:45 – 4:00p.m.