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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Time-dependent Monte Carlo radiative transfer calculations for three-dimensional supernova spectra, light curves, and polarization

  • Author(s): Kasen, D;
  • Thomas, RC;
  • Nugent, P
  • et al.

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We discuss Monte Carlo techniques for addressing the three-dimensional time-dependent radiative transfer problem in rapidly expanding supernova atmospheres. The transfer code SEDONA has been developed to calculate the light curves, spectra, and polarization of aspherical supernova models. From the onset of free expansion in the supernova ejecta, SEDONA solves the radiative transfer problem self-consistently, including a detailed treatment of gamma-ray transfer from radioactive decay and with a radiative equilibrium solution of the temperature structure. Line fluorescence processes can also be treated directly. No free parameters need be adjusted in the radiative transfer calculation, providing a direct link between multidimensional hydrodynamic explosion models and observations. We describe the computational techniques applied in SEDONA and verify the code by comparison to existing calculations. We find that convergence of the Monte Carlo method is rapid and stable even for complicated multidimensional configurations. We also investigate the accuracy of a few commonly applied approximations in supernova transfer, namely, the stationarity approximation and the two-level atom expansion opacity formalism. © 2006. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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