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Title: Relativistic Tidal Disruption and Nuclear Ignition of White Dwarf Stars by Intermediate-mass Black Holes

Abstract

We introduce results from general relativistic calculations of the tidal disruption of white dwarf stars from near encounters with intermediate-mass black holes. We view the evolution of 0.2 M and 0.6 M stars on parabolic trajectories that approach 10 3–10 4 M black holes as close as a few Schwarzschild radii at periapsis, paying particular attention to the effect that tidal disruption has on thermonuclear reactions and the synthesis of intermediate-mass to heavy elements. These encounters create diverse thermonuclear environments that are characteristic of Type I supernovae and capable of producing both intermediate-mass and heavy elements in arbitrary ratios, depending on the strength (or proximity) of the interaction. Nuclear ignition is triggered in all of our calculations, even at weak tidal strengths β ~ 2.6 and large periapsis radius R P ~ 28 Schwarzschild radii. A strong inverse correlation exists between the mass ratio of calcium-group to iron-group elements and tidal strength, with β ≲ 5 producing predominantly calcium-rich debris. At these moderate to weak interactions, nucleosynthesis is not especially efficient, limiting the total mass and outflows of calcium-group elements to <15% of available nuclear fuel. Iron-group elements, yet, continue to be produced in greater quantity andmore » ratio with increasing tidal strength, peaking at ~60% mass conversion efficiency in our closest encounter cases. These events generate short bursts of gravitational waves with characteristic frequencies 0.1–0.7 Hz and strain amplitudes from 0.5 × 10 –22 to 3.5 × 10 –22 at a source distance of 10 Mpc.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [5]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. College of Charleston, SC (United States); Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  4. Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); National Inst. of Standards and Technology (NIST), Boulder, CO (United States)
  5. Washburn Univ., Topeka, KS (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1557032
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-752874
Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357; 938505
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: The Astrophysical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 865; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1538-4357
Publisher:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; black hole physics; hydrodynamics; nuclear reactions; nucleosynthesis; abundances; stars: black holes; white dwarfs

Citation Formats

Anninos, Peter, Fragile, P. Chris, Olivier, Samuel S., Hoffman, Robert, Mishra, Bhupendra, and Camarda, Karen. Relativistic Tidal Disruption and Nuclear Ignition of White Dwarf Stars by Intermediate-mass Black Holes. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aadad9.
Anninos, Peter, Fragile, P. Chris, Olivier, Samuel S., Hoffman, Robert, Mishra, Bhupendra, & Camarda, Karen. Relativistic Tidal Disruption and Nuclear Ignition of White Dwarf Stars by Intermediate-mass Black Holes. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aadad9.
Anninos, Peter, Fragile, P. Chris, Olivier, Samuel S., Hoffman, Robert, Mishra, Bhupendra, and Camarda, Karen. Mon . "Relativistic Tidal Disruption and Nuclear Ignition of White Dwarf Stars by Intermediate-mass Black Holes". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aadad9. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1557032.
@article{osti_1557032,
title = {Relativistic Tidal Disruption and Nuclear Ignition of White Dwarf Stars by Intermediate-mass Black Holes},
author = {Anninos, Peter and Fragile, P. Chris and Olivier, Samuel S. and Hoffman, Robert and Mishra, Bhupendra and Camarda, Karen},
abstractNote = {We introduce results from general relativistic calculations of the tidal disruption of white dwarf stars from near encounters with intermediate-mass black holes. We view the evolution of 0.2 M⊙ and 0.6 M⊙ stars on parabolic trajectories that approach 103–104 M⊙ black holes as close as a few Schwarzschild radii at periapsis, paying particular attention to the effect that tidal disruption has on thermonuclear reactions and the synthesis of intermediate-mass to heavy elements. These encounters create diverse thermonuclear environments that are characteristic of Type I supernovae and capable of producing both intermediate-mass and heavy elements in arbitrary ratios, depending on the strength (or proximity) of the interaction. Nuclear ignition is triggered in all of our calculations, even at weak tidal strengths β ~ 2.6 and large periapsis radius R P ~ 28 Schwarzschild radii. A strong inverse correlation exists between the mass ratio of calcium-group to iron-group elements and tidal strength, with β ≲ 5 producing predominantly calcium-rich debris. At these moderate to weak interactions, nucleosynthesis is not especially efficient, limiting the total mass and outflows of calcium-group elements to <15% of available nuclear fuel. Iron-group elements, yet, continue to be produced in greater quantity and ratio with increasing tidal strength, peaking at ~60% mass conversion efficiency in our closest encounter cases. These events generate short bursts of gravitational waves with characteristic frequencies 0.1–0.7 Hz and strain amplitudes from 0.5 × 10–22 to 3.5 × 10–22 at a source distance of 10 Mpc.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/aadad9},
journal = {The Astrophysical Journal (Online)},
number = 1,
volume = 865,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

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Cited by: 4 works
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Initial mass fractions of the four dominant isotopes in the interior of the 0.6$M$ WD. The four isotopes are layered roughly into four distinct regions: an oxygen-rich center that transitions to a carbon-rich middle layer, then respectively to thinner helium and hydrogen outer layers. The background environment ismore » hydrogen/helium gas in primordial abundance. Color maps are all normalized to the same linear scale from zero (black) to one (yellow).« less

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