Direct numerical simulations of type Ia supernovae flames II: The Rayleigh-Taylor instability

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A Type Ia supernova explosion likely begins as a nuclear runaway near the center of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf. The outward propagating flame is unstable to the Landau-Darrieus, Rayleigh-Taylor, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, which serve to accelerate it to a large fraction of the speed of sound. We investigate the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable flame at the transition from the flamelet regime to the distributed-burning regime, around densities of 10e7 gm/cc, through detailed, fully resolved simulations. A low Mach number, adaptive mesh hydrodynamics code is used to achieve the necessary resolution and long time scales. As the density is varied, we see a ... continued below

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Bell, J. B.; Day, M. S.; Rendleman, C. A.; Woosley, S. E. & Zingale, M. January 12, 2004.

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A Type Ia supernova explosion likely begins as a nuclear runaway near the center of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf. The outward propagating flame is unstable to the Landau-Darrieus, Rayleigh-Taylor, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities, which serve to accelerate it to a large fraction of the speed of sound. We investigate the Rayleigh-Taylor unstable flame at the transition from the flamelet regime to the distributed-burning regime, around densities of 10e7 gm/cc, through detailed, fully resolved simulations. A low Mach number, adaptive mesh hydrodynamics code is used to achieve the necessary resolution and long time scales. As the density is varied, we see a fundamental change in the character of the burning--at the low end of the density range the Rayleigh-Taylor instability dominates the burning, whereas at the high end the burning suppresses the instability. In all cases, significant acceleration of the flame is observed, limited only by the size of the domain we are able to study. We discuss the implications of these results on the potential for a deflagration to detonation transition.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00841916

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  • Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 608; Journal Issue: pt.1; Other Information: Submitted to Astrophysical Journal; Volume 608, Part 1; Journal Publication Date: 06/20/2004

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  • Report No.: LBNL--54300
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 841916
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc783543

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  • January 12, 2004

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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Bell, J. B.; Day, M. S.; Rendleman, C. A.; Woosley, S. E. & Zingale, M. Direct numerical simulations of type Ia supernovae flames II: The Rayleigh-Taylor instability, article, January 12, 2004; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc783543/: accessed December 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.