Thermonuclear (type Ia) supernovae are bright stellar explosions with the unique property that the light curves may be standardized and used as distance indicators for cosmological studies. Such use as "standard candles" is widely accepted, but many questions remain about the progenitor systems and the explosion mechanism. In this talk, Prof. Alan Calder will present highlights from his research into modeling type Ia supernova explosions. He will describe proposed progenitor systems, proposed explosion mechanisms, and the physics involved in these events. He will present recent results addressing the question of how to quantify uncertainty in the progenitor stars.
Alan Calder joined the Stony Brook Physics and Astronomy department in 2007 after research appointments at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. His research is in numerically modeling astrophysical phenomena, and he has studied a variety of problems including core collapse and thermonuclear supernovae, merging neutron stars, and classical novae.