Modelling of Supernovae in the Nebular phase
P. A. Mazzali
The light curve of most Supernovae is powered by the radioactive decay of 56Ni into 56Co and 56Fe. In the first few months after explosion the SN ejecta are optically thick, and the energy produced in the radioactive decays deposits and creates optical radiation. At later times, when densities are sufficiently low, many of the complicated physical processed that cause energy to transform into light are no longer relevant. Gamma rays and positrons excite the gas collisionally. Recombination and de-excitation processed emit light in visible bands. Because the opacity is negligible, this phase offers a direct view of the innermost parts of the SN ejecta, making it possible to study the details of the explosion, which link to those of the progenitor stars.
The student will learn SN physics and radiation transport, and will then work on continuing the developement of a new code which treats the physics of energy deposition of energy and the emission of radiation. The code will then be used to reproduce observed data with the goal of understanding in quantitative detail the properties of different types of SNe.
This is a theoretical thesis, which requires good knowledge of atomic physics and radiation transport, as well as independence and initiative.