Remnants of binary white dwarf mergers

Cody Raskin, Evan Scannapieco, Chris Fryer, Gabriel Rockefeller, Francis Timmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


We carry out a comprehensive smooth particle hydrodynamics simulation survey of double-degenerate white dwarf binary mergers of varying mass combinations in order to establish correspondence between initial conditions and remnant configurations. We find that all but one of our simulation remnants share general properties such as a cold, degenerate core surrounded by a hot disk, while our least massive pair of stars forms only a hot disk. We characterize our remnant configurations by the core mass, the rotational velocity of the core, and the half-mass radius of the disk. We also find that some of our simulations with very massive constituent stars exhibit helium detonations on the surface of the primary star before complete disruption of the secondary. However, these helium detonations are insufficiently energetic to ignite carbon, and so do not lead to prompt carbon detonations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 10 2012


  • hydrodynamics
  • nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • supernovae: general
  • white dwarfs Online-only material: color figures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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