The delayed-detonation model of Type Ia supernovae. II. The detonation phase

David Arnett, Eli Livne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The investigation, by use of two-dimensional numerical hydrodynamics simulations, of the "delayed detonation" mechanism of Khokhlov for the explosion of Type Ia supernovae is continued. Previously we found that the deflagration is insufficient to unbind the star. Expansion shuts off the flame; much of this small production of iron group nuclei occurs at lower densities, which reduces the electron-capture problem. Because the degenerate star has an adiabatic exponent only slightly above 4/3, the energy released by deflagration drives a pulsation of large amplitude. During the first expansion phase, adiabatic cooling shuts off the burning, and a Rayleigh-Taylor instability then gives mixing of high-entropy ashes with low-entropy fuel. During the first contraction phase, compressional heating reignites the material. The burning was allowed to develop into a detonation in these nonspherical models. The detonation grows toward spherical symmetry at late times. At these densities (ρ ∼ 107 to 108 g cm-3), either 56Ni or nuclei of the Si-Ca group are the dominant products of the burning. The bulk yields are sensitive to the density of the star when the transition to detonation occurs. The relevance of the abundances, velocities, mixing, and total energy release to the theory and interpretation of Type Ia supernovae is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-341
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 1994


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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