Rogue Waves on Pulsating White Dwarf Stars
University of North Carolina
While it has been an efficient planet-discovery machine, the unblinking photometry of the Kepler space telescope has also revolutionized the way we look at pulsating stars. I will discuss some of the rapid advances Kepler has enabled in our understanding of white dwarf stars, including a completely unexpected new physical phenomenon: large-amplitude outbursts in the coolest pulsating white dwarfs. These outbursts are essentially rogue waves, sporadically increases the overall stellar brightness by up to 15%. The outbursts have provided fresh insight into how pulsation energy can be transferred through nonlinear resonances, as well as the eventual cessation of pulsations in cool white dwarfs.
Date: Thursday, 7 April 2016 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460 Contact: Patrick Dufour