Volume 620, December 2018
|Number of page(s)||21|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||12 December 2018|
Monte-Carlo methods for NLTE spectral synthesis of supernovae
The Oskar Klein Centre, Department of Astronomy, AlbaNova, Stockholm University, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Heidelberger Institut für Theoretische Studien, Schloss-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35, 69118 Heidelberg, Germany
4 Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik am Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Philosophenweg 12, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
5 Department of Mathematics, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 16 August 2018
We present JEKYLL, a new code for modelling of supernova (SN) spectra and lightcurves based on Monte-Carlo (MC) techniques for the radiative transfer. The code assumes spherical symmetry, homologous expansion and steady state for the matter, but is otherwise capable of solving the time-dependent radiative transfer problem in non-local-thermodynamic-equilibrium (NLTE). The method used was introduced in a series of papers by Lucy, but the full time-dependent NLTE capabilities of it have never been tested. Here, we have extended the method to include non-thermal excitation and ionization as well as charge-transfer and two-photon processes. Based on earlier work, the non-thermal rates are calculated by solving the Spencer-Fano equation. Using a method previously developed for the SUMO code, macroscopic mixing of the material is taken into account in a statistical sense. To save computational power a diffusion solver is used in the inner region, where the radiation field may be assumed to be thermalized. In addition, a statistical Markov-chain model is used to sample the emission frequency more efficiently, and we introduce a method to control the sampling of the radiation field, which is used to reduce the noise in the radiation field estimators. Except for a description of JEKYLL, we provide comparisons with the ARTIS, SUMO and CMFGEN codes, which show good agreement in the calculated spectra as well as the state of the gas. In particular, the comparison with CMFGEN, which is similar in terms of physics but uses a different technique, shows that the Lucy method does indeed converge in the time-dependent NLTE case. Finally, as an example of the time-dependent NLTE capabilities of JEKYLL, we present a model of a Type IIb SN, taken from a set of models presented and discussed in detail in an accompanying paper. Based on this model we investigate the effects of NLTE, in particular those arising from non-thermal excitation and ionization, and find strong effects even on the bolometric lightcurve. This highlights the need for full NLTE calculations when simulating the spectra and lightcurves of SNe.
Key words: supernovae: general / radiative transfer
© ESO 2018
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