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Title: THE EFFECTS OF CURVATURE AND EXPANSION ON HELIUM DETONATIONS ON WHITE DWARF SURFACES

Accreted helium layers on white dwarfs have been highlighted for many decades as a possible site for a detonation triggered by a thermonuclear runaway. In this paper, we find the minimum helium layer thickness that will sustain a steady laterally propagating detonation and show that it depends on the density and composition of the helium layer, specifically {sup 12}C and {sup 16}O. Detonations in these thin helium layers have speeds slower than the Chapman-Jouget (CJ) speed from complete helium burning, v{sub CJ} = 1.5 × 10{sup 9} cm s{sup –1}. Though gravitationally unbound, the ashes still have unburned helium (≈80% in the thinnest cases) and only reach up to heavy elements such as {sup 40}Ca, {sup 44}Ti, {sup 48}Cr, and {sup 52}Fe. It is rare for these thin shells to generate large amounts of {sup 56}Ni. We also find a new set of solutions that can propagate in even thinner helium layers when {sup 16}O is present at a minimum mass fraction of ≈0.07. Driven by energy release from α captures on {sup 16}O and subsequent elements, these slow detonations only create ashes up to {sup 28}Si in the outer detonated He shell. We close by discussing how the unboundmore » helium burning ashes may create faint and fast 'Ia' supernovae as well as events with virtually no radioactivity, and speculate on how the slower helium detonation velocities impact the off-center ignition of a carbon detonation that could cause a Type Ia supernova in the double detonation scenario.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270781
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 776; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; CALCIUM 40; CARBON 12; HELIUM; HELIUM BURNING; IRON 52; NICKEL 56; NUCLEOSYNTHESIS; OXYGEN 16; SHOCK WAVES; SILICON 28; SUPERNOVAE; TITANIUM 44; WHITE DWARF STARS