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Production of Short-Lived Radionuclides in Asymmetric Supernovae

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Supernovae are vital to supplying necessary elements to forming bodies in our solar systems. This project studies the creation of a subset of these necessary elements, called short-lived radionuclides (SLRs). SLRs are isotopes with relatively short half-lives and can serve

Supernovae are vital to supplying necessary elements to forming bodies in our solar systems. This project studies the creation of a subset of these necessary elements, called short-lived radionuclides (SLRs). SLRs are isotopes with relatively short half-lives and can serve as heat sources for forming planetary bodies, and their traces can be used to date stellar events. Computational models of asymmetric supernovae provide opportunities to study the effect of explosion geometry on the SLR yields. We are most interested in the production of \iso{Al}{26}, \iso{Fe}{60}, and \iso{Ca}{41}, whose decayed products are found in our own solar system. To study the effect of explosion asymmetries in supernovae, we use TYCHO stellar evolution code, SNSHP smooth particle hydrodynamics code for 3D explosion simulations, Burn code for nucleosythesis post-processing, and Python code written to analyze the output of the post-processing code.

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2018-05

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Analysis of Radiation Shielding for Spacecraft

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The intention of this report is to use computer simulations to investigate the viability of two materials, water and polyethylene, as shielding against space radiation. First, this thesis discusses some of the challenges facing future and current manned space missions

The intention of this report is to use computer simulations to investigate the viability of two materials, water and polyethylene, as shielding against space radiation. First, this thesis discusses some of the challenges facing future and current manned space missions as a result of galactic cosmic radiation, or GCR. The project then uses MULASSIS, a Geant4 based radiation simulation tool, to analyze the effectiveness of water and polyethylene based radiation shields against proton radiation with an initial energy of 1 GeV. This specific spectrum of radiation is selected because it a component of GCR that has been shown by previous literature to pose a significant threat to humans on board spacecraft. The analysis of each material indicated that both would have to be several meters thick to adequately protect crew against the simulated radiation over a several year mission. Additionally, an analysis of the mass of a simple spacecraft model with different shield thicknesses showed that the mass would increase significantly with internal space. Thus, using either material as a shield would be expensive as a result of the cost of lifting a large amount of mass into orbit.

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Date Created
2019-05

Interstellar Landscapes: Landscapes of Carbon and Magnesium Planets

Description

How do we visualize environments outside our solar system? I have researched two very alien planets and their compositions with the goal of finding out how those differences would affect the way a planet appears on its surface. The first

How do we visualize environments outside our solar system? I have researched two very alien planets and their compositions with the goal of finding out how those differences would affect the way a planet appears on its surface. The first is a planet orbiting the nearby G type star Tau Ceti. This star has Mg/Si ratio of 1.78, compared to 1.2 found on the Earth. A planet formed around this star could have a very active surface, covered in volcanoes. The other planet is a hypothetical carbon planet that could orbit the star HD 144899. This star has a C/O ratio of 0.8, compared to 0.5 in the Sun. A planet formed here might be comprised mostly of carbides, with a hydrocarbon atmosphere. It would likely be geologically dead, the main forces shaping its surface being meteorites. Both planets, due to their extremes, would likely be barren and lifeless. The results of this project are two digital paintings showcasing my vision of these planets.

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2015-05

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Attempting to Produce Helium White Dwarfs From Low-Metallicity Solar Mass Stars

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I examine the effects of metallicity on solar mass stellar evolution, trying to replicate a previous result in Windhorst et.al., 2018, in which a zer metallicity solar mass star did not reach the AGB, and thus may turn into a

I examine the effects of metallicity on solar mass stellar evolution, trying to replicate a previous result in Windhorst et.al., 2018, in which a zer metallicity solar mass star did not reach the AGB, and thus may turn into a helium white dwarf. In trying to replicate this result, I used the M.E.S.A. stellar evolution code and was unable to reproduce this result. While M.E.S.A has undergone several updates since the previous result was obtained, more current evidence suggests that this may have been a one-time occurrence, as no helium white dwarfs were produced for low-metallicity models. Nonetheless, interesting results were obtained, including a lowest metallicity value for which CNO burning does not significantly contribute during the main sequence, 1 −10 Z , which produces noticeable effects on post main sequence evolution. All models are run with no rotation, one solar mass, and a series of MESA parameters kept constant, with the only exception being metallicity. Any metallicity value listed as Nd −10 is an absolute mass fraction, and Z is relative to solar metallicity, 2d*10 −2 .

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Date Created
2019-12

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The Effect of Varying Mass Loss Rate on the Initial-Final Mass Relation of Massive Stars

Description

Stellar mass loss has a high impact on the overall evolution of a star. The amount<br/>of mass lost during a star’s lifetime dictates which remnant will be left behind and how<br/>the circumstellar environment will be affected. Several rates of mass

Stellar mass loss has a high impact on the overall evolution of a star. The amount<br/>of mass lost during a star’s lifetime dictates which remnant will be left behind and how<br/>the circumstellar environment will be affected. Several rates of mass loss have been<br/>proposed for use in stellar evolution codes, yielding discrepant results from codes using<br/>different rates. In this paper, I compare the effect of varying the mass loss rate in the<br/>stellar evolution code TYCHO on the initial-final mass relation. I computed four sets of<br/>models with varying mass loss rates and metallicities. Due to a large number of models<br/>reaching the luminous blue variable stage, only the two lower metallicity groups were<br/>considered. Their mass loss was analyzed using Python. Luminosity, temperature, and<br/>radius were also compared. The initial-final mass relation plots showed that in the 1/10<br/>solar metallicity case, reducing the mass loss rate tended to increase the dependence of final mass on initial mass. The limited nature of these results implies a need for further study into the effects of using different mass loss rates in the code TYCHO.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Population III Stars and Evolutionary Stellar Metallicity

Description

Study of the early Universe is filled with many unknowns, one of which is the nature of the very first generation of stars, otherwise designated as "Population III stars". The early Universe was composed almost entirely of cold hydrogen and

Study of the early Universe is filled with many unknowns, one of which is the nature of the very first generation of stars, otherwise designated as "Population III stars". The early Universe was composed almost entirely of cold hydrogen and helium, with only trace amounts of any heavier elements. As such, these stars would have compositions very different from the stars we are able to observe today, which would in turn change how these stars functioned, as well as their lifespans. Population III stars are so old that the light they emitted has not yet reached us here on Earth. Yet we know they have to have existed, so how do we go about studying objects that we have not yet observed? And more importantly, is there a metallicity threshold at which stars begin to behave like the stars we observe today? These areas are where stellar modelling programs such as TYCHO8 and the Spanish Virtual Observatory's Theoretical Spectra Web Server (TSWS) come in. These programs allow astronomers to model the physics of Pop III stars. We can get a pretty good understanding of how these stars behaved, how long they lived, and the visual spectra they would have emitted. Such information is crucial to astronomers being able to search for remnants of these stars, and one day, the stars themselves.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Composition of Potential Planet Forming Material in Supernova Fallback Disks

Description

The first extrasolar planet discovered orbited the millisecond pulsar PSR B1257+12. These so-called "pulsar planets" have proved to be more uncommon than their early discovery might have suggested. The proximity of many known pulsar planets to their host neutron stars

The first extrasolar planet discovered orbited the millisecond pulsar PSR B1257+12. These so-called "pulsar planets" have proved to be more uncommon than their early discovery might have suggested. The proximity of many known pulsar planets to their host neutron stars indicates that they formed post-supernova, possibly from material produced in the supernova. Any pre-existing planets that close would have been obliterated in the supernova. Material from the supernova falls back to an accretion disk around the neutron star analogous to a protoplanetary disk around a protostar. The composition of the supernova thus determines the composition of the planet-forming material. The pulsar planet then forms from collisions between particles within the disk. This research examines the composition of supernova remnants to explore this formation process. Chemical abundances of supernova ejecta were obtained from 3D supernova simulations. The velocities of particles containing silicate-mineral forming elements were filtered to determine what might stay in the system and thus be available for the formation of a fallback disk. The abundances of the remaining particles were compared to characterize the potential composition of such a fallback disk. Overall, the composition was roughly silicate-like, but the rates of mixing versus dust formation could lead to the production of highly exotic minerals.

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Date Created
2022-05