Physics Colloquium

"Cosmic Chandlery with Thermonuclear Supernovae"

Presented by Alan Calder, Stony Brook University

Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 3:30 pm — Large Seminar Room, Bldg. 510

Thermonuclear (Type Ia) supernovae are bright stellar explosions distinguished by light curves that can be calibrated to allow for their use as "standard candles" for measuring cosmological distances. Our research investigates how properties of the host galaxy such as composition and age influence properties of the progenitor system, which in turn influence the thermonuclear burning during an event and thus its brightness. I will present the results from ensembles of simulations addressing the influence of age and composition on the brightness of an event. These results show that the outcome depends sensitively on the nuclear burning, particularly weak interactions. Thus precise measurement of the largest possible scales of the Universe requires accurately capturing physics at some of the smallest scales.

Hosted by: Rob Pisarski

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