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Title: Nuclear burning in collapsar accretion discs
ABSTRACT The core collapse of massive, rapidly-rotating stars are thought to be the progenitors of long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRB) and their associated hyperenergetic supernovae (SNe). At early times after the collapse, relatively low angular momentum material from the infalling stellar envelope will circularize into an accretion disc located just outside the black hole horizon, resulting in high accretion rates necessary to power a GRB jet. Temperatures in the disc mid-plane at these small radii are sufficiently high to dissociate nuclei, while outflows from the disc can be neutron-rich and may synthesize r-process nuclei. However, at later times, and for high progenitor angular momentum, the outer layers of the stellar envelope can circularize at larger radii ≳ 107 cm, where nuclear reactions can take place in the disc mid-plane (e.g. 4He + 16O → 20Ne + γ). Here we explore the effects of nuclear burning on collapsar accretion discs and their outflows by means of hydrodynamical α-viscosity torus simulations coupled to a 19-isotope nuclear reaction network, which are designed to mimic the late infall epochs in collapsar evolution when the viscous time of the torus has become comparable to the envelope fall-back time. Our results address several key questions, such as the conditions for quiescent burning and accretion versus detonation and the generation of 56Ni in disc outflows, which we show could contribute significantly to powering GRB SNe. Being located in the slowest, innermost layers of the ejecta, the latter could provide the radioactive heating source necessary to make the spectral signatures of r-process elements visible in late-time GRB-SNe spectra.  more » « less
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Date Published:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range / eLocation ID:
4097 to 4113
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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