Charged-current neutrino interactions in core-collapse supernovae in a virial expansion

C. J. Horowitz, G. Shen, Evan O'Connor, Christian D. Ott

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Core-collapse supernovae may depend sensitively on charged-current neutrino interactions in warm, low-density, neutron-rich matter. A proton in neutron-rich matter is more tightly bound than is a neutron. This energy shift ΔU increases the electron energy in νe+n→p+e, increasing the available phase space and absorption cross section. Likewise ΔU decreases the positron energy in ν̄e+p→n+e +, decreasing the phase space and cross section. We have calculated ΔU using a model-independent virial expansion and we find that ΔU is much larger, at low densities, than the predictions of many mean-field models. Therefore ΔU could have a significant impact on charged-current neutrino interactions in supernovae. Preliminary simulations of the accretion phase of core-collapse supernovae find that ΔU increases ν̄e energies and decreases the νe luminosity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065806
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Science Foundation0855535, 0905046, 0960291


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