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Monday, April 16, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


3D Stellar Evolution, Nucleosynthesis, and the Fate of Massive Stars

Casey Meakin

In this talk I will discuss recent developments in understanding the rich hydrodynamics present in stellar interiors that have been made possible by three dimensional reactive-hydrodynamic simulation. Deficiencies in treating stellar turbulence is arguably the largest source of uncertainty in stellar modeling. The insights gained by studying simulated flows, however, are beginning to shed new light on old problems, including how to best treat turbulent convection and its attendant mixing processes. Improved models for these physical processes impact nearly all areas of stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis, and have implications for a diverse range of astrophysical questions such as the subtle mixing taking place in giant stars which underlies the creation of nearly half of the elements more massive than iron, and the progenitor structure which serves as the initial condition for a core-collapse event in massive stars. In addition to large scale simulation, making progress in stellar evolution relies on an intensive theoretical analysis of the simulation data, as well as confronting models with challenging observational tests. I will outline a research program which incorporates all three of these key elements.