Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Current Challenges in the Physics of White Dwarf Stars

Jun 12, 2017 8:00 AM - Jun 16, 2017 5:00 PM
Hotel Santa Fe
Jennie Harvey
(505) 606-0937

Event Description

This workshop will bring together for the first time the communities of white dwarf modelers and of dense matter physicists to foster new collaborations and identify astrophysical problems that can be addressed with advanced physical theories, simulations and experiments.

White dwarf stars represent the end stage of the life of the vast majority of stars, including our Sun. These common stars are the site of exotic physical conditions that are not encountered in other stars. Matter in such extreme conditions is just beginning to be probed experimentally. Historically, theoretical work in dense plasma physics has found fertile applications in white dwarf models.  The astrophysics of white dwarfs is a mature field, yet modern observations challenge many aspects of the models in regimes ranging from the relatively low-density gas at the observable surface through the deeper regions of partial ionization to the dense core.  In the next few years, data from space observatories and ground-based telescopes will greatly challenge current models. In many instances, modern physical theories, simulation methods and experimental techniques can be fruitfully applied to drive the field to a new level of understanding and resolve out standing astrophysical problems.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Astrophysics of white dwarf stars
  • Physical processes in white dwarf stars
  • Radiative opacities in dense gases and plasmas
  • Equation of state and transport coefficients
  • Models of warm dense plasmas
  • Simulations methods
  • Experimental measurements
  • Hydrodynamic phenomena
  • Magnetic fields

More information is available on the conference website