An investigation into the character of pre-explosion core-collapse supernova shock motion

Adam Burrows, Joshua C. Dolence, Jeremiah W. Murphy

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91 Scopus citations


We investigate the structure of the stalled supernova shock in both two and three dimensions (2D and 3D, respectively) and explore the differences in the effects of neutrino heating and the standing accretion shock instability (SASI). We find that early on the amplitude of the dipolar mode of the shock is factors of ∼2-3 smaller in 3D than in 2D. However, later in both 3D and 2D, the monopole and dipole modes start to grow until explosion. Whereas in 2D, the (l, m) = (1, 0) mode changes sign quasi-periodically, producing the "up-and-down" motion always seen in modern 2D simulations, in 3D this almost never happens. Rather, in 3D when the dipolar mode starts to grow, it grows in magnitude and wanders stochastically in direction until settling before explosion to a particular patch of solid angle. Furthermore, in 2D, we find that the amplitude of the dipolar shock deformation separates into two classes. For the first, identified with the SASI and for a wide range of "low" neutrino luminosities, this amplitude remains small and roughly constant. For the other, identified with higher luminosities and neutrino-driven convection, the dipolar amplitude grows sharply. Importantly, it is only for this higher luminosity class that we see neutrino-driven explosions within ∼1 s of bounce. Moreover, for the "low" luminosity runs (including zero), the power spectra of these dipolar oscillations peak in the 30-50Hz range associated with advection timescales, while for the high-luminosity runs the power spectra at lower frequencies are significantly more prominent. We associate this enhanced power at lower frequencies with slower convective effects and the secular growth of the dipolar shock amplitude. Though our study involves a simplified, parameterized approach, on the basis of it we hypothesize that neutrino-driven buoyant convection should almost always dominate the SASI when the supernova explosion is neutrino-driven.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • hydrodynamics
  • neutrinos
  • stars: interiors
  • supernovae: general


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