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Thursday, September 19, 2019
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


Neutrino Transport and Nucleosynthesis in Compact Disks

Jonah Miller

Black hole accretion is ubiquitous in astrophysics and cosmology; they drive the relativistic jets that power active galactic nucleii and long gamma ray bursts alike. Here I will discuss a particularly interesting scenario, where a disk of ultra-dense matter accretes onto a solar mass black hole. Outflows from these disks are a potential site of r-process nucleosynthesis, the process by which the heaviest elements in the universe are produced. In this extreme environment, photons are completely trapped within the gas, and neutrino radiation becomes important. I will describe the modeling of two systems where this scenario occurs: the disk formed after the merger of two neutron stars, and the disk formed after the collapse of a massive, rapidly rotating star. I will show that accurately modeling neutrino physics in these scenarios qualitatively changes the outcome, and is critical for accurately predicting nucleosynthetic yields and observable consequences.