A model for gravitational wave emission from neutrino-driven core-collapse supernovae

Jeremiah W. Murphy, Christian D. Ott, Adam S. Burrows

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152 Scopus citations


Using a suite of progenitor models, neutrino luminosities, and two-dimensional simulations, we investigate the matter gravitational wave (GW) emission from postbounce phases of neutrino-driven core-collapse supernovae. These phases include prompt and steady-state convection, the standing accretion shock instability (SASI), and asymmetric explosions. For the stages before explosion, we propose a model for the source of GW emission. Downdrafts of the postshock-convection/SASI region strike the protoneutron star "surface" with large speeds and are decelerated by buoyancy forces. We find that the GW amplitude is set by the magnitude of deceleration and, by extension, the downdraft's speed and the vigor of postshock-convective/SASI motions. However, the characteristic frequencies, which evolve from 100Hz ∼ after bounce to ∼ 300-400Hz, are practically independent of these speeds (and turnover timescales). Instead, they are set by the deceleration timescale, which is in turn set by the buoyancy frequency at the lower boundary of postshock convection. Consequently, the characteristic GW frequencies are dependent upon a combination of core structure attributes, specifically the dense-matter equation of state (EOS) and details that determine the gradients at the boundary, including the accretion-rate history, the EOS at subnuclear densities, and neutrino transport. During explosion, the high frequency signal wanes and is replaced by a strong low frequency, ∼ 10s ofHz, signal that reveals the general morphology of the explosion (i.e., prolate, oblate, or spherical). However, current and near-future GW detectors are sensitive to GW power at frequencies ≳ 50Hz. Therefore, the signature of explosion will be the abrupt reduction of detectable GW emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1173-1190
Number of pages18
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Dense matter
  • Equation of state
  • Gravitational waves
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instabilities
  • Shock waves
  • Supernovae: general
  • Turbulence


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