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Thermonuclear explosions in white dwarfs: high-precision modelling and observational data

Total activity: 5
Type of activity
Competitive project
Funding entity
Funding entity code
9.075,00 €
Start date
End date
astrofísica computacional, computational astrophysics, enanas blancas, evolución estelar, hidrodinámica, hydrodynamics, nuclear reactions, reacciones nucleares, stellar evolution, supernovae, supernovas, white dwarfs
Context: Thermonuclear supernovae (also known as type Ia supernovae, SNIa) are one of the key objectives of research of modern astrophysics
because of their impact on high-precision cosmology, and they are as well relevant for the chemical and dynamical evolution of galaxies. Nowadays,
observations of supernova SN2011fe in nearby galaxy M101 has provided evidence that SNIa progenitors are compact stars known as white dwarfs.
Moreover, thermonuclear explosions in white dwarfs provide an ideal test for state-of-the-art modelling of the coupling of phenomena such as
hydrodynamical instabilities, nuclear reactions, magnetic field, and others.
Aims: In spite of the short length of this project, (one year, in order to reach phase with other projects in which participate several close collaborators), its
goals represent challenges outstanding for stellar evolution theory. The first goal is to build a computational code devoted to simulations of
thermonuclear explosions in white dwarfs, characterized by high precision nucleosynthesis. To do this, a complete nuclear network will be solved
simultaneously with hydrodynamics equations in spherical symmetry. The second goal is to be able to compare the results from the SNIa simulations to
observational data in all electromagnetic bands: optical, infrared, X (supernova remnants), and gamma. The results from this work will allow: a) to
establish a link between modern cosmology and the research on SNIa progenitors, b) to provide experimental and theoretical nuclear physicists with
information about the identity of the most important nuclear reactions for thermonuclear supernova research, and c) to help design efficient nuclear
networks to be used in multidimensional codes devoted to simulation of SNIa without the restriction of spherical symmetry.
Methods: The code to be build will solve the hydrodynamic equations by using a Godunov-type scheme, like PPM, and will include a complete nuclear
reaction network up to Sn. Once the code works without errors, several tests will be conducted in order to optimize the code performance, each time
introducing a convenient simplification. The results of each test will be compared to a reference model in order to determine the precision of each version
of the code. After reaching a satisfactory version, there will be computed explosion models for a variety of scenarios and we will contact external experts
who will obtain light curves and spectra in the X, visible and infrared bands.
Expected results: The code to be created will fulfill the highest standards of quality, with the purpose of becoming a global reference for the simulation of
thermonuclear supernovae. It will also become a reference for the study of several physical ingredients usually neglected in the simulation of SNIa:
magnetic field, neutrino emission, reliability of verifiable predictions in front of changes in the nuclear reaction rates, etc. Finally, we expect that the
results of the new simulations of SNIa will allow improving the exploitation of the observations of supernova remnants in the X band.
Adm. Estat
Plan Estatal de Investigación Científica y Técnica y de Innovación 2013-2016
Call year
Funcding program
Programa Estatal de Fomento de la Investigación Científica y Técnica de Excelencia
Funding subprogram
Subprograma Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento
Funding call
Excelencia: Proyectos I+D
Grant institution
Gobierno De España. Ministerio De Economía Y Competitividad, Mineco


  • Bravo Guil, Eduardo  (scientific coordinator)
  • Badenes Montoliu, Carlos  (researcher)
  • Martínez Pinedo, Gabriel  (researcher)

Scientific and technological production

1 to 5 of 5 results
  • The origin of the iron-rich knot in Tycho's supernova remnant  Open access

     Yamaguchi, H.; Hughes, J.P.; Badenes, C.; Bravo, E.; Seitenzahl, I.; Martinez, H.; Park, S.; Petre, R.
    Astrophysical journal
    Vol. 834, num. 2, p. 1-13
    DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/124
    Date of publication: 2017-01-09
    Journal article
    Access to the full text
  • Explosion of white dwarfs harboring hybrid CONe cores  Open access

     Bravo, E.; Gil Pons, P.; Gutierrez, J.; Doherty, C.
    Astronomy & astrophysics
    Vol. 589, p. A38-A38+11
    DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527861
    Date of publication: 2016-04-12
    Journal article
    Access to the full text
  • Gamma-ray emission from SN2014J near maximum optical light  Open access

     Isern, J.; Jean, P.; Bravo, E.; Knodlseder, J.; Lebrun, F.; Churazov, E.; Sunyaev, R.; Domingo, A.; Badenes, C.; Hartmann, D. H.; Hoeflich, P.; Renaud, M.; Soldi, S.; Elias Rosa, N.; Hernanz, M.; Domínguez, I.; Garcia, D.; Lichti, G.; Vedrenne, G.; Von Ballmoos, P.
    Astronomy & astrophysics
    Vol. 588, p. A67-
    DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526941
    Date of publication: 2016-04
    Journal article
    Access to the full text
  • Gamma rays from Type Ia supernova SN 2014j  Open access

     Churazov, E.; Sunyaev, R.; Isern, J.; Bikmaev, I.; Bravo, E.; Chugai, N.; Grebenev, S.; Jean, P.; Knodlseder, J.; Lebrun, F.; Kuulkers, E.
    Astrophysical journal
    Vol. 812, p. 1-17
    DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/812/1/62
    Date of publication: 2015-10-08
    Journal article
    Access to the full text
  • A Chandrasekhar mass progenitor for the type Ia supernova remnant 3C 397 from the enhanced abundances of nickel and manganese

     Yamaguchi, H.; Badenes, C.; Foster, A.; Bravo, E.; Williams, B.; Maeda, K.; Nobukawa, M.; Eriksen, K.; Brickhouse, N.; Petre, R.; Koyama, K.
    Astrophysical journal
    Vol. 801, num. 2, p. L31-L35
    DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/801/2/L31
    Date of publication: 2015-03-12
    Journal article