Ttitle of ERC project : Exploding stars from first principles: MAGnetars as engines of hypernovae and gamma-ray BURSTs
PI : Jérôme Guilet
The MagBURST project supported by the European Research Council through an ERC starting grant started in May 2017. Its objective is to develop a theoretical description of the most extreme stellar explosions: superluminous supernovae which emit 100 times more light than normal supernovae, as well as gamma-ray bursts which are caused by relativistic jets.
These explosions are particularly important due to their impact on their environment, but also because they can be detected at large distances and thus allow to study the distant universe. They are furthermore a source of gravitational waves, which observation open today a new window to study the central engine of the explosion.
In order to better understand what lies behind the observations of these enigmatic explosions, better theoretical predictions are necessary. A popular scenario is that some of them come from the birth of a magnetar, a class of neutron stars with the most intense magnetic fields known to date (10^15 G).
The first step of the MagBURST project will address a fundamental open question: what is the origin of this extreme magnetic field? It is probably due to the dynamics inside the forming magnetar and a numerical model of this dynamics will be developed. Numerical simulations on supercomputers in combination with analytical developments will be be used to describe the magnetic field amplification. As a second step, these results will be used to develop numerical simulations of the explosion driven the formation of magnetars. The prediction of the properties and diversity of these explosions will be instrumental to interpret the large amount of data that future programs of observations will provide: LSST for supernovae and the space mission SVOM for gamma-ray bursts.