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  1. Abstract

    We explore changes in the adiabatic low-order g-mode pulsation periods of 0.526, 0.560, and 0.729Mcarbon–oxygen white dwarf models with helium-dominated envelopes due to the presence, absence, and enhancement of22Ne in the interior. The observed g-mode pulsation periods of such white dwarfs are typically given to 6−7 significant figures of precision. Usually white dwarf models without22Ne are fit to the observed periods and other properties. The rms residuals to the ≃150−400 s low-order g-mode periods are typically in the range ofσrms≲ 0.3 s, for a fit precision ofσrms/P≲ 0.3%. We find average relative period shifts of ΔP/P≃ ±0.5% for the low-order dipole and quadrupole g-mode pulsations within the observed effective temperature window, with the range of ΔP/Pdepending on the specific g-mode, abundance of22Ne, effective temperature, and the mass of the white dwarf model. This finding suggests a systematic offset may be present in the fitting process of specific white dwarfs when22Ne is absent. As part of the fitting processes involves adjusting the composition profiles of a white dwarf model, our study on the impact of22Ne can provide new inferences on the derived interior mass fraction profiles. We encourage routinely including22Ne mass fraction profiles, informed by stellar evolution models, to futuremore »generations of white dwarf model-fitting processes.

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  2. ABSTRACT We present the discovery of only the third brown dwarf known to eclipse a non-accreting white dwarf. Gaia parallax information and multicolour photometry confirm that the white dwarf is cool (9950 ± 150 K) and has a low mass (0.45 ± 0.05 M⊙), and spectra and light curves suggest the brown dwarf has a mass of 0.067 ± 0.006 M⊙ (70MJup) and a spectral type of L5 ± 1. The kinematics of the system show that the binary is likely to be a member of the thick disc and therefore at least 5-Gyr old. The high-cadence light curves show that the brown dwarf is inflated, making it the first brown dwarf in an eclipsing white dwarf-brown dwarf binary to be so.
  3. 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
  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.