Location: ERC 536
Scientific Advisors: Fausto Cattaneo, Alexei M. Khokhlov
Publications: ADS | arXiv
Ian Remming is a graduate student and a doctoral candidate. His research is focused on modeling magneto-hydrodynamical thermonuclear explosions in magnetized degenerate plasma in collaboration with Prof. Alexei Khokhlov.
Ph.D. Thesis Defense (Astronomy)
Defense date: June 20, 2018
The Propagation of Flame Fronts Through Inhomogeneously Magnetized Plasma"
Ph.D. Committee members: Fausto Cattaneo (PhD advisor), Doyal "Al" Harper, Arieh Konigl, and Robert Rosner.
Thesis Abstract: The effects of an inhomogeneous magnetic medium on the propagation of magneto-hydrodynamical (MHD) laminar flame fronts are investigated. This investigation is motivated by the occurrence of magnetized thermonuclear combustion in several astrophysical systems. Magnetized thermonuclear burning occurs on the surfaces of neutron stars during Type I X-ray bursts, within the interiors of white dwarfs during Type Ia supernovae, during classical novae, and may be important for certain core collapse supernovae as well. Thermonuclear flames that propagate in these systems travel through inhomogeneous magnetic fields. We present the results of a series of numerical simulations of magnetized flame propagation conducted using the MHD extension to the High-Speed Combustion and Detonation (HSCD) code. A simplified flame model is used with one-step Arrhenius kinetics, a perfect gas equation of state, and constant thermal conductivity coefficients. Although idealized, the model allows for the opportunity to study the physics of the problem without the complexities of the nuclear kinetics of thermonuclear burning. We simulate the propagation of laminar flames through inhomogeneous magnetic media. A changing magnetic medium significantly alters the structure of the flame through the generation of an electric current that propagates out of the plane of the flame front. The electric current rotates the direction of the magnetic field across the flame and produces strong shear flows. Furthermore, for flames that conduct heat anisotropically and that propagate at an angle to the magnetic field, the flame speed increases due to the non-uniform magnetic field. Naturally occurring flames in astrophysical systems may experience similar changes to their structure and speed that would influence the observational properties of these systems.
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