Researchers from the "Astrophysics, Instrumentation, Modeling" laboratory in Paris-Saclay (AIM - CNRS/CEA/Université Paris Diderot), the CEA's Directorate of Military Applications (DAM), and the Laboratoire Univers et Théories (LUTH - Observatoire de Paris/CNRS/Université Paris Diderot) of the Paris Diderot Observatory have succeeded in modelling an enigmatic phenomenon of quasi-periodic oscillations present on the surface of "highly magnetic" white dwarf stars called "polar". Using numerical simulations, they were able to study the importance of plasma instabilities that lead to rapid variations in the luminosity of these stars. These results will be confirmed thanks to the use of high energy lasers which will allow in the near future to reproduce in laboratory physical conditions similar to those encountered on the surface of white dwarfs.
This work is the subject of two publications in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics of 22 June 2015.
Click here to read the press release in French on the CEA website