Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Physics

Major Professor

Michael W. Guidry

Committee Members

Otis E. Messer, William R. Hix, Steven M. Wise

Abstract

Type Ia supernovae are most likely thermonuclear explosions of carbon/oxygen white dwarves in binary stellar systems. These events contribute to the chemical and dynamical evolution of their host galaxies and are essential to our understanding of the evolution of our universe through their use as cosmological distance indicators. Nearly all of the currently favored explosion scenarios for these supernovae involve detonations. However, modeling astrophysical detonations can be complicated by numerical effects related to grid resolution. In addition, the fidelity of the reaction network chosen to evolve the nuclear burning can alter the time and length scales over which the burning occurs. Multidimensional effects further complicate matters by introducing a complex cellular structure within the reaction zone. Here, we report on how these complications can affect the outcome of simulating such astrophysical detonations in the context of Type Ia supernovae.

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