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Massive Stars and their Supernovae

Author: Friedrich-Karl Thielemann, Raphael Hirschi, Matthias Li
Url: http://arxiv.org/abs/1008.2144
Format: Ps, Pdf
Year: 2010
Category: Astrophysics of stars
Pages: 79
Clicks: 1323

Massive stars and their supernovae are prominent sources of radioactive isotopes, the observations of which thus can help to improve our astrophysical models of those. Our understanding of stellar evolution and the final explosive endpoints such as supernovae or hypernovae or gamma-ray bursts relies on the combination of magneto-hydrodynamics, energy generation due to nuclear reactions accompanying composition changes, radiation transport, and thermodynamic properties (such as the equation of state of stellar matter). Nuclear energy production includes all nuclear reactions triggered during stellar evolution and explosive end stages, also among unstable isotopes produced on the way. Radiation transport covers atomic physics (e.g. opacities) for photon transport, but also nuclear physics and neutrino nucleon/nucleus interactions in late phases and core collapse. Here we want to focus on the astrophysical aspects, i.e. a description of the evolution of massive stars and their endpoints, with a special emphasis on the composition of their ejecta (in form of stellar winds during the evolution or of explosive ejecta). Low and intermediate mass stars end their evolution as a white dwarf with an unburned C and O composition. Massive stars evolve beyond this point and experience all stellar burning stages from H over He, C, Ne, O and Si-burning up to core collapse and explosive endstages. In this chapter we discuss the nucleosynthesis processes involved and the production of radioactive nuclei in more detail.

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