Helium Detonation Conditions in Head-on Collisions of White Dwarfs

Cole Holcomb, Princeton University

Photo of Cole Holcomb

The unsolved mystery of the progenitor systems of Type Ia Supernovae has spurred the development of several theoretical models. One such model involves the collision of two white dwarfs in a triple system. We explore the outcomes of including a helium component in these collisions. By performing a set of two-dimensional, axisymmetric calculations using the FLASH hydrodynamics code, we determine critical He masses for detonation ignition in the He layer and the resulting observational signatures.

Abstract Author(s): Cole Holcomb, Doron Kushnir, Boaz Katz