Computational Challenges of Modeling X-ray Bursts and Type Ia Supernovae

Stellar explosions come in a wide variety, powered by either by gravitational collapse or thermonuclear energy release.  These are truly multiphysics problems---modeling them requires the coordinated input of gravity solvers, reaction networks, transport, and hydrodynamics together with microphysics recipes to describe the physics of matter under extreme conditions.  Furthermore, these models involve following a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, which puts tough demands on simulation codes.  As a result, a variety of methods have been developed to model the different phases of these explosions.

In this talk I will give a introduction to the algorithmic and computational challenges involved in modeling stellar explosions and then discuss the specific techniques and codes we've been developing, Maestro and Castro.  Applications to a variety of Type Ia progenitor models and aspects of X-ray bursts will be shown.                                          


Michael Zingale is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Stony Brook University. He earned a BS in Physics and Astronomy (1996) from the University of Rochester and a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000) from the University of Chicago. Michael's research involves the development of new algorithms for efficiently modeling convection in stellar interiors and understanding astrophysical thermonuclear explosions. Together with computational scientists at the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering, he co-developed and publicly released the Maestro low Mach number hydrodynamics code for stellar convective flows and the Castro compressible radiation hydrodynamics code. He applies these codes to studies of Type Ia supernovae, novae, X-ray bursts, and related phenomena.


Michael Zingale


Thursday, February 23, 2017


1 pm - 2 pm


IACS Seminar Room