Study: how and why do stars die?

Northwestern University (NU) researchers found that by studying all three “flavors” involved in a supernova, they unlocked more clues as to how and why stars die.

Contrary to the past practice of simplifying studies by studying one flavor while ignoring the other two, the researchers in the new study created a non-linear simulation of a “fast conversion” when three neutrino flavors are present, where a rapid conversion is marked by neutrinos. they interact and change flavors.

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They removed the hypothesis that the three types of neutrinos, muons, electrons and tau have the same angular distribution, giving each a different distribution. A two-flavor configuration of the same concept looks at electron neutrinos and “x” neutrinos, where x can be muon or tau neutrinos and where the differences between the two are insignificant.

When a huge number of neutrinos are sent crashing during the massive explosion of a supernova with collapsing core, they begin to oscillate. Interactions between neutrinos change the properties and behaviors of the entire system, creating a coupled relationship.

The new study created a non-linear simulation of a “quick conversion”. Pixabay

Therefore, when the neutrino density is high, a fraction of neutrinos exchange flavors. When different flavors are emitted in different directions deep inside a star, the conversions happen quickly and are called “fast conversions”. Interestingly, the research found that as the number of neutrinos increases, so too do their conversion rates, regardless of mass, reports the Xinhua News Agency.

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“We are trying to convince the community that when you take these rapid conversions into consideration, you need to use all three tastes to understand it,” said senior author Manibrata Sen, a postdoctoral researcher currently based at NU within the network. for neutrinos, University of California – Berkeley Astrophysics and Symmetry Program.

“A correct understanding of fast oscillations may actually hold the key to why some stars explode from supernovae.” In the next step, the researchers hope to make their results more generic by including spatial dimensions as well as momentum and time components. The study was published in the journal Physical Review Letters. (IANS)