Stockholms universitet

Evan Patrick O'ConnorUniversitetslektor



I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Neutrino Echos following Black Hole Formation in Core-collapse Supernovae

    2022. Samuel Gullin (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 926 (2)


    During a failed core-collapse supernova, the protoneutron star eventually collapses under its own gravitational field and forms a black hole. This collapse happens quickly, on the dynamical time of the protoneutron star, ≲0.5 ms. During this collapse, barring any excessive rotation, the entire protoneutron star is accreted into the newly formed black hole. The main source of neutrinos is now removed and the signal abruptly shuts off over this formation timescale. However, while the source of neutrinos is turned off, the arrival times at an Earth-based detector will depend on the neutrino path. We show here that a modest amount of neutrinos, emitted just prior to the black hole forming, scatter on the infalling material into our line of sight and arrive after the formation of the black hole, up to 15 ms in our model. This neutrino echo, which we characterize with Monte Carlo simulations and analytic models, has a significantly higher average energy (upwards of ∼50 MeV) compared to the main neutrino signal, and for the canonical failed supernova explored here, is likely detectable in O(10 kT) supernova neutrino detectors for Galactic failed supernovae. The presence of this signal is important to consider if using black hole formation as a time post for triangulation or the post black hole timing profile for neutrino mass measurements. On its own, it can also be used to characterize or constrain the structure and nature of the accretion flow.

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  • Hydrodynamic simulations of electron-capture supernovae: progenitor and dimension dependence

    2022. Shuai Zha (et al.). Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 513 (1), 1317-1328


    We present neutrino-transport hydrodynamic simulations of electron-capture supernovae (ECSNe) in FLASH with new two-dimensional (2D) collapsing progenitor models. These progenitor models feature the 2D modelling of oxygen-flame propagation until the onset of core collapse. We perform axisymmetric simulations with six progenitor models that, at the time of collapse, span a range of propagating flame front radii. For comparison, we also perform a simulation with the same set-up using the canonical, spherically symmetrical progenitor model n8.8. We found that the variations in the progenitor models inherited from simulations of stellar evolution and flame propagation do not significantly alter the global properties of the neutrino-driven ECSN explosion, such as the explosion energy (∼1.36–1.48 × 1050 erg) and the mass (∼0.017–0.018 M⊙) and composition of the ejecta. Due to aspherical perturbations induced by the 2D flame, the ejecta contains a small amount (≲1.8 × 10−3 M⊙) of low-Ye (0.35 < Ye < 0.4) component. The baryonic mass of the protoneutron star is ∼1.34 M⊙ (∼1.357 M⊙) with the new (n8.8) progenitor models when simulations end at ∼400 ms and the discrepancy is due to updated weak-interaction rates in the progenitor evolutionary simulations. Our results reflect the nature of ECSN progenitors containing a strongly degenerate oxygen–neon–magnesium (ONeMg) core and suggest a standardized ECSN explosion initialized by ONeMg core collapse. Moreover, we carry out a rudimentary three-dimensional simulation and find that the explosion properties are fairly compatible with the 2D counterpart. Our paper facilitates a more thorough understanding of ECSN explosions following the ONeMg core collapse, though more three-dimensional simulations are still needed.

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  • SNEWPY: A Data Pipeline from Supernova Simulations to Neutrino Signals

    2022. Amanda L. Baxter (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 925 (2)


    Current neutrino detectors will observe hundreds to thousands of neutrinos from Galactic supernovae, and future detectors will increase this yield by an order of magnitude or more. With such a data set comes the potential for a huge increase in our understanding of the explosions of massive stars, nuclear physics under extreme conditions, and the properties of the neutrino. However, there is currently a large gap between supernova simulations and the corresponding signals in neutrino detectors, which will make any comparison between theory and observation very difficult. SNEWPY is an open-source software package that bridges this gap. The SNEWPY code can interface with supernova simulation data to generate from the model either a time series of neutrino spectral fluences at Earth, or the total time-integrated spectral fluence. Data from several hundred simulations of core-collapse, thermonuclear, and pair-instability supernovae is included in the package. This output may then be used by an event generator such as sntools or an event rate calculator such as the SuperNova Observatories with General Long Baseline Experiment Simulator (SNOwGLoBES). Additional routines in the SNEWPY package automate the processing of the generated data through the SNOwGLoBES software and collate its output into the observable channels of each detector. In this paper we describe the contents of the package, the physics behind SNEWPY, the organization of the code, and provide examples of how to make use of its capabilities.

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  • Equation-of-state Dependence of Gravitational Waves in Core-collapse Supernovae

    2021. Oliver Eggenberger Andersen (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 923 (2)


    Gravitational waves (GWs) provide unobscured insight into the birthplace of neutron stars and black holes in core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe). The nuclear equation of state (EOS) describing these dense environments is yet uncertain, and variations in its prescription affect the proto−neutron star (PNS) and the post-bounce dynamics in CCSN simulations, subsequently impacting the GW emission. We perform axisymmetric simulations of CCSNe with Skyrme-type EOSs to study how the GW signal and PNS convection zone are impacted by two experimentally accessible EOS parameters, (1) the effective mass of nucleons, m⋆, which is crucial in setting the thermal dependence of the EOS, and (2) the isoscalar incompressibility modulus, Ksat. While Ksat shows little impact, the peak frequency of the GWs has a strong effective mass dependence due to faster contraction of the PNS for higher values of m⋆ owing to a decreased thermal pressure. These more compact PNSs also exhibit more neutrino heating, which drives earlier explosions and correlates with the GW amplitude via accretion plumes striking the PNS, exciting the oscillations. We investigate the spatial origin of the GWs and show the agreement between a frequency-radial distribution of the GW emission and a perturbation analysis. We do not rule out overshoot from below via PNS convection as another moderately strong excitation mechanism in our simulations. We also study the combined effect of effective mass and rotation. In all our simulations we find evidence for a power gap near ∼1250 Hz; we investigate its origin and report its EOS dependence.

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  • Progenitor Dependence of Hadron-quark Phase Transition in Failing Core-collapse Supernovae

    2021. Shuai Zha, Evan P. O'Connor, André da Silva Schneider. Astrophysical Journal 911 (2)


    We study the consequences of a hadron-quark phase transition (PT) in failing core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) that give birth to stellar-mass black holes (BH). We perform a suite of neutrino-transport general-relativistic hydrodynamic simulations in spherical symmetry with 21 progenitor models and a hybrid equation of state (EoS) including hadrons and quarks. We find that the effect of the PT on the CCSN postbounce dynamics is a function of the bounce compactness parameter xi(2.2). For xi(2.2) greater than or similar to 0.24, the PT leads to a second dynamical collapse of the protocompact star (PCS). While BH formation starts immediately after this second collapse for models with xi(2.2) greater than or similar to 0.51, the PCS experiences a second bounce and oscillations for models with 0.24 less than or similar to x xi(2.2) less than or similar to 0.51. These models emit potent oscillatory neutrino signals with a period of similar to 1 ms for tens of milliseconds after the second bounce, which can be a strong indicator of the PT in failing CCSNe if detected in the future. However, no shock revival occurs and BH formation inevitably takes place in our spherically symmetric simulations. Furthermore, via a diagram of mass-specific entropy evolution of the PCS, the progenitor dependence can be understood through the appearance of a third family of compact stars emerging at large entropy induced by the PT.

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  • Equation of State and Progenitor Dependence of Stellar-mass Black Hole Formation

    2020. André da Silva Schneider (et al.). Astrophysical Journal 894 (1)


    The core collapse of a massive star results in the formation of a proto-neutron star (PNS). If enough material is accreted onto a PNS, it will become gravitationally unstable and further collapse into a black hole (BH). We perform a systematic study of failing core-collapse supernovae in spherical symmetry for a wide range of pre-supernova progenitor stars and equations of state (EOSs) of nuclear matter. We analyze how variations in progenitor structure and the EOS of dense matter above nuclear saturation density affect the PNS evolution and subsequent BH formation. Comparisons of core collapse for a given progenitor star and different EOSs show that the path traced by the PNS in mass-specific entropy phase space M-grav(PNS) - (s) over bar is well correlated with the progenitor compactness and is almost EOS independent, apart from the final end point. Furthermore, BH formation occurs, to a very good approximation, soon after the PNS overcomes the maximum gravitational mass supported by a hot NS with constant specific entropy equal to (s) over bar. These results show a path to constraining the temperature dependence of the EOS through the detection of neutrinos from a failed galactic supernova.

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  • Gravitational-wave Signature of a First-order Quantum Chromodynamics Phase Transition in Core-Collapse Supernovae

    2020. Shuai Zha (et al.). Physical Review Letters 125 (5)


    A first-order quantum chromodynamics (QCD) phase transition (PT) may take place in the protocompact star (PCS) produced by a core-collapse supernova (CCSN). In this work, we study the consequences of such a PT in a nonrotating CCSN with axisymmetric hydrodynamic simulations. We find that the PT leads to the collapse of the PCS and results in a loud burst of gravitational waves (GWs). The amplitude of this GW burst is similar to 30 times larger than the postbounce GW signal normally found for nonrotating CCSN. It shows a broad peak at high frequencies (similar to 2500-4000 Hz) in the spectrum, has a duration of less than or similar to 5 ms, and carries similar to 3 orders of magnitude more energy than the other episodes. Also, the peak frequency of the PCS oscillation increases dramatically after the Fr-induced collapse. In addition to a second neutrino burst, the GW signal, if detected by the ground-based GW detectors, is decisive evidence of the first-order QCD PT inside CCSNe and provides key information about the structure and dynamics of the PCS.

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  • Exploring Fundamentally Three-dimensional Phenomena in High-fidelity Simulations of Core-collapse Supernovae

    2018. Evan P. O'Connor, Sean M. Couch. Astrophysical Journal 865 (2)


    The details of the physical mechanism that drives core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) remain uncertain. While there is an emerging consensus on the qualitative outcome of detailed CCSN mechanism simulations in 2D, only recently have high-fidelity 3D simulations become possible. Here we present the results of an extensive set of 3D CCSN simulations using high-fidelity multidimensional neutrino transport, high-resolution hydrodynamics, and approximate general relativistic gravity. We employ a state-of-the-art 20 M-circle dot progenitor generated using Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics, and the SFHo equation of state. While none of our 3D CCSN simulations explode within similar to 500 ms after core bounce, we find that the presence of large-scale aspherical motion in the Si and O shells aid shock expansion and bring the models closer to the threshold of explosion. We also find some dependence on resolution and geometry (octant versus full 4 pi). As has been noted in other recent works, we find that the post-shock turbulence plays an important role in determining the overall dynamical evolution of our simulations. We find a strong standing accretion shock instability (SASI) that develops at late times. The SASI produces transient shock expansions, but these do not result in any explosions. We also report that for a subset of our simulations, we find conclusive evidence for the lepton-number emission self-sustained asymmetry, which until now has not been confirmed by independent simulation codes. Both the progenitor asphericities and the SASI-induced transient shock expansion phases generate transient gravitational waves and neutrino signal modulations via perturbations of the protoneutron star by turbulent motions.

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  • Global comparison of core-collapse supernova simulations in spherical symmetry

    2018. Evan O'Connor (et al.). Journal of Physics G 45 (10)


    We present a comparison between several simulation codes designed to study the core-collapse supernova mechanism. We pay close attention to controlling the initial conditions and input physics in order to ensure a meaningful and informative comparison. Our goal is three-fold. First, we aim to demonstrate the current level of agreement between various groups studying the corecollapse supernova central engine. Second, we desire to form a strong basis for future simulation codes and methods to compare to. Lastly, we want this work to be a stepping stone for future work exploring more complex simulations of core-collapse supernovae, i.e., simulations in multiple dimensions and simulations with modern neutrino and nuclear physics. We compare the early (first similar to 500 ms after core bounce) spherically-symmetric evolution of a 20 M-circle dot progenitor star from six different core-collapse supernovae codes: 3DnSNeIDS A, AGILE-BOLTZTRAN, FLASH, FORNAX, GR1D, and PROMETHEUS-VERTEX. Given the diversity of neutrino transport and hydrodynamic methods employed, we find excellent agreement in many critical quantities, including the shock radius evolution and the amount of neutrino heating. Our results provide an excellent starting point from which to extend this comparison to higher dimensions and compare the development of hydrodynamic instabilities that are crucial to the supernova explosion mechanism, such as turbulence and convection.

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  • Two-dimensional Core-collapse Supernova Explosions Aided by General Relativity with Multidimensional Neutrino Transport

    2018. Evan P. O'Connor, Sean M. Couch. Astrophysical Journal 854 (1)


    We present results from simulations of core-collapse supernovae in FLASH using a newly implemented multidimensional neutrino transport scheme and a newly implemented general relativistic (GR) treatment of gravity. We use a two-moment method with an analytic closure (so-called M1 transport) for the neutrino transport. This transport is multienergy, multispecies, velocity dependent, and truly multidimensional, i.e., we do not assume the commonly used ray-by-ray approximation. Our GR gravity is implemented in our Newtonian hydrodynamics simulations via an effective relativistic potential that closely reproduces the GR structure of neutron stars and has been shown to match GR simulations of core collapse quite well. In axisymmetry, we simulate core-collapse supernovae with four different progenitor models in both Newtonian and GR gravity. We find that the more compact proto-neutron star structure realized in simulations with GR gravity gives higher neutrino luminosities and higher neutrino energies. These differences in turn give higher neutrino heating rates (upward of similar to 20%-30% over the corresponding Newtonian gravity simulations) that increase the efficacy of the neutrino mechanism. Three of the four models successfully explode in the simulations assuming GREP gravity. In our Newtonian gravity simulations, two of the four models explode, but at times much later than observed in our GR gravity simulations. Our results, in both Newtonian and GR gravity, compare well with several other studies in the literature. These results conclusively show that the approximation of Newtonian gravity for simulating the core-collapse supernova central engine is not acceptable. We also simulate four additional models in GR gravity to highlight the growing disparity between parameterized 1D models of core-collapse supernovae and the current generation of 2D models.

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  • SNEWS 2.0: a next-generation supernova early warning system for multi-messenger astronomy

    2021. S. Al Kharusi (et al.). New Journal of Physics 23 (3)


    The next core-collapse supernova in the Milky Way or its satellites will represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity to obtain detailed information about the explosion of a star and provide significant scientific insight for a variety of fields because of the extreme conditions found within. Supernovae in our galaxy are not only rare on a human timescale but also happen at unscheduled times, so it is crucial to be ready and use all available instruments to capture all possible information from the event. The first indication of a potential stellar explosion will be the arrival of a bright burst of neutrinos. Its observation by multiple detectors worldwide can provide an early warning for the subsequent electromagnetic fireworks, as well as signal to other detectors with significant backgrounds so they can store their recent data. The supernova early warning system (SNEWS) has been operating as a simple coincidence between neutrino experiments in automated mode since 2005. In the current era of multi-messenger astronomy there are new opportunities for SNEWS to optimize sensitivity to science from the next galactic supernova beyond the simple early alert. This document is the product of a workshop in June 2019 towards design of SNEWS 2.0, an upgraded SNEWS with enhanced capabilities exploiting the unique advantages of prompt neutrino detection to maximize the science gained from such a valuable event.

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  • Impact of neutrino pair-production rates in core-collapse supernovae

    2020. Aurore Betranhandy, Evan O'Connor. Physical Review D 102 (12)


    In this paper, we present a careful study on the impact of neutrino pair-production on core-collapse supernovae via spherically-symmetric, general-relativistic simulations of two different massive star progenitors with energy-dependent neutrino transport. We explore the impact and consequences of both the underlying microphysics and the implementation in the radiation transport algorithms on the supernova evolution, neutrino signal properties, and the explosion dynamics. We consider the two dominant neutrino pair-production processes found in supernovae, electron-positron annihilation as well as nucleon-nucleon bremsstrahlung in combination with both a simplified and a complete treatment of the processes in the radiation transport algorithms. We find that the use of the simplified prescription quantitatively impacts the neutrino signal at the 10% level and potentially the supernova dynamics, as we show for the case of a zero-metallicity, 9.6M(circle dot) progenitor. We also show that the choice of nucleon-nucleon bremsstrahlung interaction can also have a quantitative impact on the neutrino signal. A self-consistent treatment with state-of-the-art micmphysics is suggested for precision simulations of core collapse, however the simplified treatment explored here is both computationally less demanding and results in a qualitatively similar evolution.

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  • Simulating Turbulence-aided Neutrino-driven Core-collapse Supernova Explosions in One Dimension

    2020. Sean M. Couch, MacKenzie L. Warren, Evan P. O'Connor. Astrophysical Journal 890 (2)


    The core-collapse supernova (CCSN) mechanism is fundamentally 3D, with instabilities, convection, and turbulence playing crucial roles in aiding neutrino-driven explosions. Simulations of CCNSe including accurate treatments of neutrino transport and sufficient resolution to capture key instabilities remain among the most expensive numerical simulations in astrophysics, prohibiting large parameter studies in 2D and 3D. Studies spanning a large swath of the incredibly varied initial conditions of CCSNe are possible in 1D, though such simulations must be artificially driven to explode. We present a new method for including the most important effects of convection and turbulence in 1D simulations of neutrino-driven CCSNe, called Supernova Turbulence In Reduced-dimensionality, or STIR. Our new approach includes crucial terms resulting from the turbulent and convective motions of the flow. We estimate the strength of convection and turbulence using a modified mixing-length theory approach, introducing a few free parameters to the model that are fit to the results of 3D simulations. For sufficiently large values of the mixing-length parameter, turbulence-aided neutrino-driven explosions are obtained. We compare the results of STIR to high-fidelity 3D simulations and perform a parameter study of CCSN explosion using 200 solar-metallicity progenitor models from 9 to 120 M-circle dot. We find that STIR is a better predictor of which models will explode in multidimensional simulations than other methods of driving explosions in 1D. We also present a preliminary investigation of predicted observable characteristics of the CCSN population from STIR, such as the distributions of explosion energies and remnant masses.

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