Zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions in flash

W. P. Hawley, T. Athanassiadou, Francis Timmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We systematically explore zero impact parameter collisions of white dwarfs (WDs) with the Eulerian adaptive grid code FLASH for 0.64 + 0.64 M and 0.81 + 0.81 M mass pairings. Our models span a range of effective linear spatial resolutions from 5.2 × 10 7 to 1.2 × 107cm. However, even the highest resolution models do not quite achieve strict numerical convergence, due to the challenge of properly resolving small-scale burning and energy transport. The lack of strict numerical convergence from these idealized configurations suggests that quantitative predictions of the ejected elemental abundances that are generated by binary WD collision and merger simulations should be viewed with caution. Nevertheless, the convergence trends do allow some patterns to be discerned. We find that the 0.64 + 0.64 M head-on collision model produces 0.32 M of 56Ni and 0.38 M of 28Si, while the 0.81 + 0.81 M head-on collision model produces 0.39 M of 56Ni and 0.55 M of 28Si at the highest spatial resolutions. Both mass pairings produce 0.2 M of unburned 12C+16O. We also find the 0.64 + 0.64 M head-on collision begins carbon burning in the central region of the stalled shock between the two WDs, while the more energetic 0.81 + 0.81 M head-on collision raises the initial post-shock temperature enough to burn the entire stalled shock region to nuclear statistical equilibrium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number39
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume759
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

Fingerprint

flash
collision
collisions
shock
spatial resolution
collision parameters
high resolution
merger
grids
parameter
trends
energetics
carbon
configurations
predictions
prediction
simulation
energy
temperature

Keywords

  • binaries: general
  • supernovae: general
  • white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions in flash. / Hawley, W. P.; Athanassiadou, T.; Timmes, Francis.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 759, No. 1, 39, 01.11.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hawley, W. P. ; Athanassiadou, T. ; Timmes, Francis. / Zero impact parameter white dwarf collisions in flash. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2012 ; Vol. 759, No. 1.
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