August 11-15, 2014


The physics and fates of merging carbon-oxygen white dwarf binaries

Chenchong Zhu (University of Toronto)

Ruediger Pakmor (Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies) Marten H. van Kerkwijk (University of Toronto) Philip Chang (University of Wisconsin Milwaukee)

The merger of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs has long been theorized to produce massive, rapidly-rotating and magnetized white dwarfs, carbon-burning stars, accretion-induced collapse to a neutron star or, perhaps most exciting, a violent nuclear explosion leading to a type Ia supernova. To determine which mergers lead to a particular outcome, we must first understand the detailed hydrodynamics of the merging process. We present simulations of mergers in both the smoothed-particle hydrodynamics code Gasoline, and the state-of-the-art Arepo moving mesh code. We discuss the parameter space of merger remnants, magnetic field growth during the merger, and further evolution following the completion of the merger.

Mode of presentation: oral