ITC Colloquium - Ken Shen


Thursday, May 11, 2017, 10:40am




"A Paradigm Shift for Type Ia Supernova Progenitors"

Abstract:  The study of Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) progenitors has undergone a paradigm shift in the past decade.  Evidence countering the standard "single degenerate" scenario has mounted to the point that most researchers in the field believe it cannot be responsible for all or even the majority of SNe Ia.  In this talk, I will lay out the evidence constraining SN Ia progenitor scenarios and describe a promising alternative theory in which the merger of two white dwarfs leads to a helium shell detonation that then triggers a carbon core detonation.  Study of this "dynamically-driven double degenerate double detonation" ("6D") channel is maturing rapidly and has the realistic potential to solve one of the most enduring mysteries in astrophysics.


See also: Colloquium, 2016-17