Simulations of magnetically driven supernova and hypernova explosions in the context of rapid rotation

Adam S. Burrows, L. Dessart, E. Livne, C. D. Ott, J. Murphy

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We present here the first 2D rotating, multigroup, radiation magnetohydrodynamics (RMHD) simulations of supernova core collapse, bounce, and explosion. In the context of rapid rotation, we focus on the dynamical effects of magnetic stresses and the creation and propagation of MHD jets. We find that a quasi-steady state can be quickly established after bounce, during which a well-collimated MHD jet is maintained by continuous pumping of power from the differentially rotating core. If the initial spin period of the progenitor core is ≳2 s, the free energy reservoir in the secularly evolving proto-neutron star is adequate to power a supernova explosion and may be enough for a hypernova. The jets are well collimated by the infalling material and magnetic hoop stresses and maintain a small opening angle. We see evidence of sausage instabilities in the emerging jet stream. Neutrino heating is subdominant in the rapidly rotating models we explore but can contribute 10%-25% to the final explosion energy. Our simulations suggest that even in the case of modest or slow rotation, a supernova explosion might be followed by a secondary, weak MHD jet explosion, which, because of its weakness, may to date have gone unnoticed in supernova debris. Furthermore, we suggest that the generation of a nonrelativistic MHD precursor jet during the early proto-neutron star/supernova phase is implicit in both the collapsar and "millisecond magnetar" models of GRBs. The multidimensional, multigroup, rapidly rotating RMHD simulations we describe here are a start along the path toward more realistic simulations of the possible role of magnetic fields in some of nature's most dramatic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-434
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jul 20 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • MHD
  • Supernovae: general


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