EDP Sciences
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Volume 474, Number 1, October IV 2007
Page(s) 169 - 191
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20077432

A&A 474, 169-191 (2007)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20077432

General relativistic simulations of passive-magneto-rotational core collapse with microphysics

P. Cerdá-Durán1, 2, J. A. Font2, and H. Dimmelmeier1, 3

1  Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85741 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: cerda@mpa-garching.mpg.de
2  Departamento de Astronomía y Astrofísica, Universidad de Valencia, 46100 Burjassot (Valencia), Spain
3  Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

(Received 7 March 2007 / Accepted 31 July 2007)

This paper presents results from axisymmetric simulations of magneto-rotational stellar core collapse to neutron stars in general relativity using the passive field approximation for the magnetic field. These simulations are performed using a new general relativistic numerical code specifically designed to study this astrophysical scenario. The code is an extension of an existing (and thoroughly tested) hydrodynamics code, which has been applied in the recent past to study relativistic rotational core collapse. It is based on the conformally-flat approximation of Einstein's field equations and conservative formulations of the magneto-hydrodynamics equations. The code has been recently upgraded to incorporate a tabulated, microphysical equation of state and an approximate deleptonization scheme. This allows us to perform the most realistic simulations of magneto-rotational core collapse to date, which are compared with simulations employing a simplified (hybrid) equation of state, widely used in the relativistic core collapse community. Furthermore, state-of-the-art (unmagnetized) initial models from stellar evolution are used. In general, stellar evolution models predict weak magnetic fields in the progenitors, which justifies our simplification of performing the computations under the approach that we call the passive field approximation for the magnetic field. Our results show that for the core collapse models with microphysics the saturation of the magnetic field cannot be reached within dynamical time scales by winding up the poloidal magnetic field into a toroidal one. We estimate the effect of other amplification mechanisms including the magneto-rotational instability (MRI) and several types of dynamos. We conclude that for progenitors with astrophysically expected (i.e. weak) magnetic fields, the MRI is the only mechanism that could amplify the magnetic field on dynamical time scales. The uncertainties about the strength of the magnetic field at which the MRI saturates are discussed. All our microphysical models exhibit post-bounce convective overturn in regions surrounding the inner part of the proto-neutron star. Since this has a potential impact on enhancing the MRI, it deserves further investigation with more accurate neutrino treatment or alternative microphysical equations of state.

Key words: gravitation -- hydrodynamics -- magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) -- methods: numerical -- stars: supernovae: general -- relativity

© ESO 2007