The Los Alamos Supernova Light Curve Project

Lucille H. Frey (1,2), Wesley Even (2), Daniel J. Whalen (3), Chris L. Fryer (4,5,6), Aimee L. Hungerford (2), Christopher J. Fontes (7), James Colgan (8) ((1)Department of Computer Science, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; (2) Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM; (3) McWilliams Fellow, Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh; (4) CCS-2, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM; (5) Physics Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; (6) Physics and Astronomy Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; (7) XCP-5, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM; (8)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM)

We have entered the era of explosive transient astronomy, in which upcoming real-time surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) and Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) will detect supernovae in unprecedented numbers. Future telescopes such as the James Webb Space Telescope may discover supernovae from the earliest stars in the universe and reveal their masses. The observational signatures of these astrophysical transients are the key to unveiling their central engines, the environments in which they occur, and to what precision they will pinpoint cosmic acceleration and the nature of dark energy. We present a new method for modeling supernova light curves and spectra with the radiation hydrodynamics code RAGE coupled with detailed monochromatic opacities in the SPECTRUM code. We include a suite of tests that demonstrate how the improved physics is indispensable to modeling shock breakout and light curves.

Complete preprint ==> http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.5832

 

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