Laminar Flame Speeds in Degenerate Oxygen–Neon Mixtures

The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 891, Issue 1, id.5, 10 pp.

Josiah Schwab, R. Farmer, and F.X. Timmes

The collapse of degenerate oxygen-neon cores (i.e., electron-capture supernovae or accretion-induced collapse) proceeds through a phase in which a deflagration wave ("flame") forms at or near the center and propagates through the star. In models, the assumed speed of this flame influences whether this process leads to an explosion or to the formation of a neutron star. We calculate the laminar flame speeds in degenerate oxygen-neon mixtures with compositions motivated by detailed stellar evolution models. These mixtures include trace amounts of carbon and have a lower electron fraction than those considered in previous work. We find that trace carbon has little effect on the flame speeds, but that material with electron fraction Ye ≈ 0.48-0.49 has laminar flame speeds that are ≈ 2 times faster than those at Ye = 0.5. We provide tabulated flame speeds and a corresponding fitting function so that the impact of this difference can be assessed via full star hydrodynamical simulations of the collapse process.