CfA Colloquium Schedule Fall 2009
 3 September 2009

3 September 2009

Speaker: Andrew MacFadyen (NYU)

Title:Extreme Stellar Explosions - The Dynamics and Observational Signatures of Gamma-Ray Bursts

Abstract:It is now clear that a subset of massive stars are capable of exploding relativistically. These explosions are observed as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with accompanying supernovae. Stellar evolution thus follows an unexpected channel which I will argue is related to black hole or, possibly, magnetar formation. I will discuss progress in understanding the dynamics and observational signatures of these explosions. I will present new multi-dimensional simulations and computed light curves of GRB blastwaves in the afterglow phase. I will also present recent work demonstrating the generation and amplification of magnetic fields in astrophysical outflows relevant for models of GRB prompt and afterglow emission.

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