Crucial Physical Dependencies of the Core-Collapse Supernova Mechanism

Adam S. Burrows, D. Vartanyan, J. C. Dolence, M. A. Skinner, D. Radice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We explore with self-consistent 2D Fornax simulations the dependence of the outcome of collapse on many-body corrections to neutrino-nucleon cross sections, the nucleon-nucleon bremsstrahlung rate, electron capture on heavy nuclei, pre-collapse seed perturbations, and inelastic neutrino-electron and neutrino-nucleon scattering. Importantly, proximity to criticality amplifies the role of even small changes in the neutrino-matter couplings, and such changes can together add to produce outsized effects. When close to the critical condition the cumulative result of a few small effects (including seeds) that individually have only modest consequence can convert an anemic into a robust explosion, or even a dud into a blast. Such sensitivity is not seen in one dimension and may explain the apparent heterogeneity in the outcomes of detailed simulations performed internationally. A natural conclusion is that the different groups collectively are closer to a realistic understanding of the mechanism of core-collapse supernovae than might have seemed apparent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Multi-dimensional radiation/hydrodynamics
  • Neutrino physics
  • Supernova theory


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