Universiteit Leiden

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Clues from stellar catastrophes

Promotores: S.F. Portegies Zwart, E. M. Rossi

Auteur Alexander Rimoldi
Links Thesis in Leiden Repository

This thesis uses catastrophic stellar events (supernovae and stellar collisions) to investigate different aspects of their environment. The first part of the thesis examines what happens to supernova remnants near supermassive black holes like the one in the Milky Way Galaxy. To do so, a technique is first developed for predicting the evolution of supernova remnants in non-uniform densities. This is used to demonstrate how supermassive black hole environments determine the evolution and lifetime of supernova remnants. Conversely, observations of supernova remnants can then be used to infer properties of the surroundings of supermassive black holes. Therefore, predictions are then given for the X-ray emission that could be observed from core-collapse supernova remnants in these regions. This emission can compete with other sources, such the accretion flow of the supermassive black hole itself. Next, the problem of a core-collapse supernova in a close binary system is considered, where the effect on the companion is studied to predict the properties of runaway stars from binaries disrupted after a supernova. Finally, simulations of blue stragglers, formed from stellar collisions, are used to learn about the globular clusters containing them. Estimating the collision times reveals details about the evolutionary history of the cluster.