The swirling simulations, which are reminiscent of Van Gogh’s star paintings, show the interior of a star during the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) phase, the final stage of a low- and intermediate-mass star’s life before it becomes a white dwarf. It is during this phase that many of the heavier elements, such as carbon and sodium, are created inside the stars. The core of the star is surrounded by shells of helium and hydrogen, in which nuclear fusion periodically switches off and on in a process called Helium-Shell Flashes, triggering increased bursts of mixing and heating. The models focus on the turbulent convection zone in the helium shell and show how it interacts with the stable, stratified layers above and below.
Dr Falk Herwig said, “Until recently we’ve only had one-dimensional models of the interior. That’s very different from being able to work out in detail and 2 or 3 dimensions what’s going on deep inside and seeing how the different layers interact. The three-dimensional simulation is so complicated that we have been using as much computing time as some of the large cosmological simulations. This is the first time that we’ve been able to see and actually measure the internal gravity waves that are caused by the convective motions in the unstable layer.”
The simulations show that there is minimal penetration of material into adjoining layers from the convection zone but gravitational mode oscillations with a dominating horizontal velocity component, induced at the convective boundaries do cause some of mixing across layers.
Helium-shell flash convection is dominated by large convective cells that are centered in the lower half of the convection zone. The animations show entropy or temperature fluctuations which start off as small bumps at the bottom of the convection zone and expand upwards, developing mushroom-like instabilities that merge into large-scale features. The stable regions above and below are filled with horizontal waves, which are induced almost as soon as the convection plumes start to grow. This means that the gravity waves are not created by the plumes actually hitting the boundaries, but are induced by the build-up of pressure above the plumes.
Anita Heward | alfa
First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy