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  1. Abstract

    PG 1159-035 is the prototype of the PG 1159 hot (pre-)white dwarf pulsators. This important object was observed during the Kepler satellite K2 mission for 69 days in 59 s cadence mode and by the TESS satellite for 25 days in 20 s cadence mode. We present a detailed asteroseismic analysis of those data. We identify a total of 107 frequencies representing 32= 1 modes, 27 frequencies representing 12= 2 modes, and eight combination frequencies. The combination frequencies and the modes with very highkvalues represent new detections. The multiplet structure reveals an average splitting of 4.0 ± 0.4μHz for= 1 and 6.8 ± 0.2μHz for= 2, indicating a rotation period of 1.4 ± 0.1 days in the region of period formation. In the Fourier transform of the light curve, we find a significant peak at 8.904 ± 0.003μHz suggesting a surface rotation period of 1.299 ± 0.002 days. We also present evidence that the observed periods change on timescales shorter than those predicted by current evolutionary models. Our asteroseismic analysis finds an average period spacing for= 1 of 21.28 ± 0.02 s. The= 2 modes have a mean spacing of 12.97 ± 0.4 s. We performed a detailed asteroseismicmore »fit by comparing the observed periods with those of evolutionary models. The best-fit model hasTeff= 129, 600 ± 11 100 K,M*= 0.565 ± 0.024M, andlogg=7.410.54+0.38, within the uncertainties of the spectroscopic determinations. We argue for future improvements in the current models, e.g., on the overshooting in the He-burning stage, as the best-fit model does not predict excitation for all of the pulsations detected in PG 1159-035.

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  2. Abstract

    White dwarfs (WDs) are useful across a wide range of astrophysical contexts. The appropriate interpretation of their spectra relies on the accuracy of WD atmosphere models. One essential ingredient of atmosphere models is the theory used for the broadening of spectral lines. To date, the models have relied on Vidal et al., known as the unified theory of line broadening (VCS). There have since been advancements in the theory; however, the calculations used in model atmosphere codes have only received minor updates. Meanwhile, advances in instrumentation and data have uncovered indications of inaccuracies: spectroscopic temperatures are roughly 10% higher and spectroscopic masses are roughly 0.1Mhigher than their photometric counterparts. The evidence suggests that VCS-based treatments of line profiles may be at least partly responsible. Gomez et al. developed a simulation-based line-profile code Xenomorph using an improved theoretical treatment that can be used to inform questions around the discrepancy. However, the code required revisions to sufficiently decrease noise for use in model spectra and to make it computationally tractable and physically realistic. In particular, we investigate three additional physical effects that are not captured in the VCS calculations: ion dynamics, higher-order multipole expansion, and an expanded basis set. We alsomore »implement a simulation-based approach to occupation probability. The present study limits the scope to the first three hydrogen Balmer transitions (Hα, Hβ, and Hγ). We find that screening effects and occupation probability have the largest effects on the line shapes and will likely have important consequences in stellar synthetic spectra.

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  3. The standard theory of pulsations deals with the frequencies and growth rates of infinitesimal perturbations in a stellar model. Modes which are calculated to be linearly driven should increase their amplitudes exponentially with time; the fact that nearly constant amplitudes are usually observed is evidence that nonlinear mechanisms inhibit the growth of finite amplitude pulsations. Models predict that the mass of DAV convection zones is very sensitive to temperature (i.e., MCZ∝T−90eff) leading to the possibility that even "small amplitude" pulsators may experience significant nonlinear effects. In particular, the outer turning point of finite-amplitude g-mode pulsations can vary with the local surface temperature, producing a reflected wave that is slightly out of phase with that required for a standing wave. This can lead to a lack of coherence of the mode and a reduction in its global amplitude. We compute the size of this effect for specific examples and discuss the results in the context of Kepler and K2 observations.
  4. Abstract The Wootton Center for Astrophysical Plasma Properties (WCAPP) is a new center focusing on the spectroscopic properties of stars and accretion disks using “at-parameter” experiments. Currently, these experiments use the X-ray output of the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories — the largest X-ray source in the world — to heat plasmas to the same conditions (temperature, density, and radiation environment) as those observed in astronomical objects. The experiments include measuring (1) density-dependent opacities of iron-peak elements at solar interior conditions, (2) spectral lines of low-Z elements at white dwarf photospheric conditions, (3) atomic population kinetics of neon in a radiation-dominated environment, and (4) resonant Auger destruction (RAD) of silicon at conditions found in accretion disks around supermassive black holes. In particular, we report on recent results of our experiments involving helium at white dwarf photospheric conditions. We present results showing disagreement between inferred electron densities using the Hβ line and the He I 5876 Å line, most likely indicating incompleteness in our modeling of this helium line.
  5. Calculations of line broadening are important for many different applications including plasma diagnostics and opacity calculations. One concern is that line-shape models employ many approximations that are not experimentally validated for most element conditions due to challenges with high-fidelity line-shape benchmark experiments. Until such experiments become available, we need to test approximations with ab-initio line-shape calculations. There are three primary formalisms to derive an electron-broadening operator: the impact theory (Baranger, Griem), relaxation theory (Fano), and kinetic theories (Zwanzig, Hussey), all of which give different expressions for electron broadening. The impact and relaxation theories approximate the density matrix as factorizeable while the kinetic theory has a more general density matrix. The impact and kinetic theories relate the electron broadening operator to collision amplitudes, while the relaxation theory has a more complicated formula using projection operators. Each theory has a different prediction for the width and shift of spectral lines, which will become apparent in strongly-coupled plasmas. We have made an effort to better understand the approximations and limitations of all of these approaches and to try to reconcile the differences between them. Here, we present the current status of our understanding of the electron-broadening theories and our preliminary attempt to unifymore »the various formulae. Currently, we have found the projection operator to be necessary part of line broadening. We will be showing (for the first time) how the projection operator broadens spectral lines.« less