Journal Article

Monte Carlo radiation hydrodynamics: methods, tests and application to Type Ia supernova ejecta

U. M. Noebauer, S. A. Sim, M. Kromer, F. K. Röpke and W. Hillebrandt

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 425, issue 2, pages 1430-1444
Published in print September 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21600.x
Monte Carlo radiation hydrodynamics: methods, tests and application to Type Ia supernova ejecta

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Abstract

In astrophysical systems, radiation–matter interactions are important in transferring energy and momentum between the radiation field and the surrounding material. This coupling often makes it necessary to consider the role of radiation when modelling the dynamics of astrophysical fluids. During the last few years, there have been rapid developments in the use of Monte Carlo methods for numerical radiative transfer simulations. Here, we present an approach to radiation hydrodynamics that is based on coupling Monte Carlo radiative transfer techniques with finite-volume hydrodynamical methods in an operator-split manner. In particular, we adopt an indivisible packet formalism to discretize the radiation field into an ensemble of Monte Carlo packets and employ volume-based estimators to reconstruct the radiation field characteristics. In this paper the numerical tools of this method are presented and their accuracy is verified in a series of test calculations. Finally, as a practical example, we use our approach to study the influence of the radiation–matter coupling on the homologous expansion phase and the bolometric light curve of Type Ia supernova explosions.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; supernovae: general

Journal Article.  12417 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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