A study of white dwarfs: cataclysmic variables and double-detonation supernovae

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dc.contributor Bailin, Jeremy
dc.contributor Cartwright, Julia
dc.contributor.advisor Townsley, Dean M.
dc.contributor.author Caldwell, Spencer
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-16T15:04:31Z
dc.date.available 2020-01-16T15:04:31Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003481
dc.identifier.other Caldwell_alatus_0004M_13912
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/6538
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract Novae, be it classical, dwarf, or supernovae, are some of the most powerful and luminous events observed in the Universe. Although they share the same root, they are produced by different physical processes. We research systems capable of experiencing novae with the intention of furthering our understanding of these astrophysical phenomena. A cataclysmic variable is a binary star system that contains a white dwarf with the potential of undergoing classical or dwarf novae. A recent observation of a white dwarf within one of these systems was found to have an unusually high surface temperature for its orbital period. The discovery contradicts current evolutionary models, motivating research to determine a theoretical justification for this outlier. Using MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics), we simulated novae for a progenitor designed to represent a white dwarf in an interacting binary. We developed post-novae cooling timescales to constrain the temperature value. We found the rate at which classical novae cool post-outburst (< 1 K yr−1) is in general agreement with the four−year follow-up observation (∼ 2 K). The evolution of white dwarfs during double- detonation type Ia supernovae was also studied. The progenitors capable of producing these events are not fully established, requiring a consistent model to be developed for parametric analysis. Three improvements were made to the simulation model used in (Townsley et al., 2019): the inclusion of a de-refinement condition, a new particle distribution, and a burning limiter. The focus here was to enhance the computational efficiency, offer better representation of particles in the supernova ejecta, and control the nuclear energy release. These developments were employed to test double-detonation scenarios capable of producing spectra analogous to type Ia supernovae, which will offer insight into their prevalence and strengthen their use in measuring cosmological distance.
dc.format.extent 65 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Astrophysics
dc.title A study of white dwarfs: cataclysmic variables and double-detonation supernovae
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Physics and Astronomy
etdms.degree.discipline Physics
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.S.


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