The dominance of neutrino-driven convection in core-collapse supernovae

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Multi-dimensional instabilities have become an important ingredient in core-collapse supernova (CCSN) theory. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the driving mechanism of the dominant instability. We compare our parameterized three-dimensional CCSN simulations with other buoyancy-driven simulations and propose scaling relations for neutrino-driven convection. Through these comparisons, we infer that buoyancy-driven convection dominates post-shock turbulence in our simulations. In support of this inference, we present four major results. First, the convective fluxes and kinetic energies in the neutrino-heated region are consistent with expectations of buoyancy-driven convection. Second, the convective flux is positive where buoyancy actively drives convection, and the radial and tangential components of the kinetic energy are in rough equipartition (i.e., Kr ∼ K θ + K φ). Both results are natural consequences of buoyancy-driven convection, and are commonly observed in simulations of convection. Third, buoyant driving is balanced by turbulent dissipation. Fourth, the convective luminosity and turbulent dissipation scale with the driving neutrino power. In all, these four results suggest that in neutrino-driven explosions, the multi-dimensional motions are consistent with neutrino-driven convection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number52
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • convection
  • hydrodynamics
  • instabilities
  • methods: analytical
  • methods: numerical
  • shock waves
  • supernovae: general
  • turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'The dominance of neutrino-driven convection in core-collapse supernovae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this