Physics of Thermonuclear Supernovae and Observational Constraints

Dr. Peter Hoeflich
Dept. of Astronomy, Univ. of Texas at Austin


The last decade has witnessed an explosive growth of high-quality data for supernovae. Advances in computational methods provided new insight into the physics of the objects. Both trends combined provided spectacular results not only for astronomy and the origin of elements but also for our understanding of nuclear burning fronts, high energy and particle physics.

Thermonuclear supernovae, so called SNe Ia, have allowed good estimates of the expansion rate of the universe, and provided strong evidence of the need for a Cosmological Constant. The quest for the nature of the dark energy requires even higher accuracy cosmology and supernovae at even larger red-shifts when we look back about 10,000,000,000 years into the past making evolutionary effects with distance a major concern. A better understanding of SNe Ia is required to advance these fields. In the talk, I want to give an overview of the current status and the upcoming challenges.

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