Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1301.1523 (Camille Charignon et al.)

Deflagration to detonation transition by amplification of acoustic waves in type Ia supernovae    [PDF]

Camille Charignon, Jean-Pierre Chièze
We study a new mechanism for deflagration to detonation transition in thermonuclear supernovae (SNe Ia), based on the formation of shocks by amplification of sound waves in the steep density gradients of white dwarfs envelopes. Given a large enough jump in density a small pressure and velocity perturbation, produced by the turbulent deflagration, turns into a shock down of the gradient, where it will dissipate and heat up the media. With the right frequency and amplitude the heating can be enough to initiate a detonation, which can propagate backward and up the density gradient. We studied planar and spherical geometry. In the planar case we made a parametric study of the frequency and amplitude. We found it possible to obtain a detonation for perturbations down to Mach number M=0.003. In the spherical case, geometrical damping makes it harder to initiate a detonation, but considering a small He atmosphere (<0.01 Msol) makes it possible again to obtain a detonation down to small perturbation (M=0.002). In the context of thermonuclear supernovae, this could be a mean to turn a turbulent flame producing sound waves to a detonation.
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