Stellar explosions, instabilities, and turbulence

Drake, R. P.; Kuranz, C. C.; Miles, A. R.; Muthsam, H. J.; Plewa, T.
April 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2009, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p041004
Academic Journal
It has become very clear that the evolution of structure during supernovae is centrally dependent on the pre-existing structure in the star. Modeling of the pre-existing structure has advanced significantly, leading to improved understanding and to a physically based assessment of the structure that will be present when a star explodes. It remains an open question whether low-mode asymmetries in the explosion process can produce the observed effects or whether the explosion mechanism somehow produces jets of material. In any event, the workhorse processes that produce structure in an exploding star are blast-wave driven instabilities. Laboratory experiments have explored these blast-wave-driven instabilities and specifically their dependence on initial conditions. Theoretical work has shown that the relative importance of Richtmyer–Meshkov and Rayleigh–Taylor instabilities varies with the initial conditions and does so in ways that can make sense of a range of astrophysical observations.


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