Supernova explosions terminate the lives of massive stars, produce and disseminate a major fraction of the heavy elements, and give birth to neutron stars and black holes. Recent three-dimensional, first-principle hydrodynamical models with detailed neutrino transport support the viability of the neutrino-driven mechanism for the majority of core-collapse supernovae, in which neutrinos transfer the energy driving the explosion, as originally proposed by Colgate and White in 1966. Many aspects of the extremely complex physics still need deeper exploration and better understanding, in particular the role of neutrino flavor oscillations and of rotation and magnetic fields. Meanwhile, the consequences of the neutrino-driven mechanism can be tested by observations. In particular, 3D simulations of such explosions provide new insights into the geometrical and chemical structure of young supernova remnants, possible explosion-progenitor connections, and the natal properties (masses, kicks, spins) of the compact objects formed in stellar core collapse events.
Wolfgang Lerche / TH-SP