The late time core collapse supernova environment
University of California, Santa Cruz
I will discuss some aspects of what happens in and around the proto-neutron star that is left behind after a successful core-collapse supernova. This hot extended neutron star cools by neutrino emission over a period of tens of seconds. The emitted neutrinos, if detected, give us a direct window into the dense core of the supernova. In addition to giving a direct probe of a proto-neutron star’s properties, the neutrino flux drives a high-entropy wind from the neutron star’s surface. Although they are but a small fraction of the mass ejected in core-collapse supernovae, neutrino-driven winds have the potential to contribute significantly to supernova nucleosynthesis. I will describe our efforts to model this phase of the neutron star’s life, what can be learned about the properties of matter at supra-nuclear densities from the properties of the neutrino light curve (and whether or not this can be disentangled from convection), and to what extent the neutrino-driven wind may contribute to supernova nucleosynthesis.