Astrophysics Invited Talk

Christian Ott
(TAPIR, California Institute of Technology)

Petascale Simulations of Core-Collapse Supernovae

Core-collapse supernovae from massive stars are among the most energetic events in the universe. They liberate a mass-energy equivalent of ~15% of a solar mass in the collapse of their progenitor star’s core. The majority (~99%) of this energy is carried away by neutrinos, while ~1% is transferred to the kinetic energy of the
explosive outflow. A smaller, yet still tremendous amount of energy is emitted in electromagnetic and gravitational waves. Core collapse and the subsequent supernova evolution towards explosion involves a broad range of physics: Boltzmann transport of neutrinos, weak interactions, nuclear reactions, the nuclear equation of state, magnetohydrodynamics, and gravity. The problem is also multi-scale and for modeling the supernova engine, one must generally resolve physical scales from ~10000 km down to below ~100 m. Due to its multi-physics multi-scale nature, the core-collapse supernova problem poses a formidable computational challenge that requires petascale resources of the caliber of the NSF Blue Waters system. I review the computational approaches employed by the core-collapse supernova modeling community and present an overview of recent results from the first set of full 3D simulations.