One-armed spiral instability in double-degenerate post-merger accretion disks
American Astronomical Society
Increasing observational and theoretical evidence points to binary white dwarf mergers as the origin of some if not most normal Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). In this paper, we discuss the post-merger evolution of binary white dwarf (WD) mergers, and their relevance to the double-degenerate channel of SNe Ia. We present 3D simulations of carbon-oxygen (C/O) WD binary systems undergoing unstable mass transfer, varying both the total mass and the mass ratio. We demonstrate that these systems generally give rise to a one-armed gravitational spiral instability. The spiral density modes transport mass and angular momentum in the disk even in the absence of a magnetic field, and are most pronounced for secondary-to-primary mass ratios larger than 0.6. We further analyze carbon burning in these systems to assess the possibility of detonation. Unlike the case of a 1.1 + 1.0M C/O WD binary, we find that WD binary systems with lower mass and smaller mass ratios do not detonate as SNe Ia up to ∼ 8−22 outer dynamical times. Two additional models do however undergo net heating, and their secular increase in temperature could possibly result in a detonation on timescales longer than those considered here
We thank James Guillochon, Daan Van Rossum, Chris Byrohl, and Pranav Dave for useful discussions. We also would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for their useful comments and insights. The work of EG-B, GA-S and PL-A was partially funded by MINECO AYA2014-59084-P grant and by the AGAUR. The software used in this work was in part developed by the DOE NNSA-ASC OASCR Flash Center at the University of Chicago. This work used the Extreme Science and Engineering discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation grant number ACI-1053575. Simulations at UMass Dartmouth were performed on a computer cluster supported by NSF grant CNS-0959382 and AFOSR DURIP grant FA9550-10-1-0354. RTF thanks the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, supported in part by the national Science Foundation under grant NSF PHY11-25915, for visiting support during which this work was completed. This research has made use of resources from NASA’s Astrophysics Data System and the yt astrophysics analysis software suite (Turk et al. 2011).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from IOP Publishing via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 840 (1), article 16