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Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the UniverseWPI

IPMU Colloquium

Date: October 22, 2008, 15:30 - 17:00
Place: Room 633, 6th floor, Kashiwa Research Complex
Speaker: Thierry Foglizzo (Service d'Astrophysique & Waseda)
Title: From the whistle of a kettle to the asymmetric explosion of supernovae [PDF]
Abstract: How do massive stars explode ? Why are pulsars so much faster than stars ? I will explain how these questions are related the understanding of a hydrodynamical instability, named the advective-acoustic instability. It has been introduced in astrophysics in order to explain the hydrodynamics of supersonic black-holes, but its mechanism can be traced back to the whistling kettle. It is based on the interplay of sound and vorticity and can be analyzed by perturbative methods. Current numerical simulations suggest that this instability is crucial to the success of the explosion of a massive star. The resulting asymmetry can be large enough to account for the observed velocity of the fastest pulsars.