White Dwarf stars are the stellar remnants of low mass stars which have completed their evolution. Nearly all stars will become white dwarfs. The interior of a white dwarf encapsulates its evolution history: unraveling a white dwarf’s internal structure constrains the physical events which occurred to construct its composition. Variable, or pulsating, white dwarfs emit pulsations which are sensitive to their internal stratification. Just as seismology reveals Earth’s interior, asteroseismology can reveal stellar interiors. The standard approach to construe an observed white dwarf’s chemical makeup is to match observed pulsation properties to theoretical stellar models. Observed white dwarf pulsation data has reached 6-7 significant digits of precision. As such, it is important for computational modeling to consider systematic offsets from initial conditions and theoretical uncertainties that are within the detectable threshold. By analyzing the magnitude of pulsation differences among various uncertainties from white dwarf models, one can place constraints on important theoretical uncertainties. In this thesis, I explore impacts on white dwarf pulsations that result from accounting for various uncertainties in computational models. I start by showing the importance of 22Ne, and its impact on the pulsations in Helium atmosphere white dwarfs. Next, I discuss how certain trapped modes of white dwarfs may yield a signal for the 12C(α,γ)16O reaction rate probability distribution function. This reaction occurs during the Helium core burning phase in stellar evolution, and chiefly determines the Carbon and Oxygen abundance of white dwarfs. Following this work, I show how overshooting impacts the pulsation signatures of the 12C(α, γ)16O reaction rate. I then touch on the analytical work I’ve done regarding educational research in the HabWorlds course offered at Arizona State University (ASU). I then summarize my conclusions from these efforts.
- On the Implications of Stellar Evolution and Stellar Interiors from White Dwarf Seismology
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