Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Dr. Kuranz authors new article on supernovae instability for Nature Communications journal

Posted: May 1, 2018

Dr. Kuranz authors new article on supernovae instability for Nature Communications journal Tycho's supernova remnant. Image: NASA

Climate & Space researcher Dr. Carolyn Kuranz is principal author of a new article about the effects of high-energy fluxes on the development of Rayleigh-Taylor instability in young supernovae remnants. 

The article, "How high energy fluxes may affect Rayleigh–Taylor instability growth in young supernova remnants", was co-authored with Hye-Sook Park of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and CLaSP Professor R Paul Drake​

"Rayleigh-Taylor has been studied for over 100 years," says Kuranz, Director of U-M's Center for Laser Experimental Astrophysical Research (CLEAR) and an associate research scientist of climate and space sciences and engineering. "But the effects of these high energy fluxes, these mechanisms that cause heating, have never been studied."

From the article: 

"Energy-transport effects can alter the structure that develops as a supernova evolves into a supernova remnant. The Rayleigh–Taylor instability is thought to produce structure at the interface between the stellar ejecta and the circumstellar matter, based on simple models and hydrodynamic simulations. Here we report experimental results from the National Ignition Facility to explore how large energy fluxes, which are present in supernovae, affect this structure. We observed a reduction in Rayleigh–Taylor growth. In analyzing the comparison with supernova SN1993J, a Type II supernova, we found that the energy fluxes produced by heat conduction appear to be larger than the radiative energy fluxes, and large enough to have dramatic consequences. No reported astrophysical simulations have included radiation and heat conduction self-consistently in modeling supernova remnants and these dynamics should be noted in the understanding of young supernova remnants."

Read the full Nature Communications article here:

The article was also reported by the Michigan News service: "Recreating supernova reaction yields new insights for fusion energy"