Making black holes in supernovae

S. E. Woosley, Francis Timmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


The possibility of making stellar mass black holes in supernovae that otherwise produce viable Type II and Ib supernova explosions is discussed and estimates given of their number in the Milky Way Galaxy. Observational diagnostics of stellar mass black hole formation are reviewed. While the equation of state sets the critical mass, fall back during the explosion is an equally important (and uncertain) element in determining if a black hole is formed. SN 1987A may or may not harbor a black hole, but if the critical mass for neutron stars is 1.5-1.6 M⊙, as Brown and Bethe suggest, it probably does. Observations alone do not yet resolve the issue. Reasons for this state of ambiguity are discussed and suggestions given as to how gamma-ray and x-ray observations in the future might help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalNuclear Physics A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Cite this

Woosley, S. E., & Timmes, F. (1996). Making black holes in supernovae. Nuclear Physics A, 606(1-2), 137-150.