Supernovae - From Simulations to Observations and Nucleosynthetic Fingerprints

660. WE-Heraeus-Seminar


21 Jan - 24 Jan 2018


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Scientific organizers:

Dr. B. Müller, Queens Univ. Belfast/UK • Dr. A. Jerkstrand, MPI-A Garching • Dr. M. Kromer, U Heidelberg

Observations and theoretical models have made impressive progress in understanding supernova explosions from massive stars and white dwarfs thanks to the advent of huge transient surveys and advances in high-performance computing. To consolidate progress, it is important to make specialists in different aspects of supernova research aware of progress and challenges on other fronts. This Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Seminar "Supernovae - From Simulations to Observations and Nucleosynthetic Fingerprints", to be held at Physikzentrum Bad Honnef from January 21 to 24, 2018 will bring together world-leading experts, early career researchers, and students to discuss the physical modelling of stellar explosions, their nucleosynthesis, radiation transfer, and supernova observations to further our understanding of these dramatic events that are crucial for the chemical enrichment of the Universe.

Key science topics

  • What are the explosion mechanisms of SNe? Which CCSNe are neutrino-driven, and for which ones do we need some kind of magneto-rotational mechanism? How are black holes formed and what is the SN-GRB connection? Are thermonuclear explosions dominated by deflagration or detonation burning? Do they explode near or below the Chandrasekhar-mass limit of CO WDs? 3D effects are critical to make progress on these questions, and the workshop will have a strong focus on the latest 3D models.
  • What nucleosynthesis do SNe produce? SNe are believed to be the main factories of all heavy elements in the Universe, but little quantitative results yet exist on this process. How well do we understand the origin of different elements, from comparison of nucleosynthesis models and spectral analysis? What does the production of different elements tell us about the progenitor and explosion properties?
  • What do current models for light curves and spectra of SNe tell us? The critical link between explosion models and observations is the radiative transfer modelling of light curves and spectra. What properties can we robustly infer with modern codes, and what properties are still difficult to pin down due to limitations in the physical modelling? How do these limitations affect our search for the progenitors of SNe? Can we constrain the most fundamental parameter of the progenitors: the mass of the exploding star?
  • What new observational data are needed to make the next breakthroughs? It is at the interface between forefront theory and observations that progress is made. What are the current theoretical predictions that are most valuable to test observationally, in particular in the context of the 'zoo' of transients discovered in the past decade?