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Remote Participation
Visualization of a Neutron Star Binary Merger and Subsequent Creation of a Kilonova
Event Type
Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase
In-Person Only
Registration Categories
TimeWednesday, 17 November 20218:30am - 5pm CST
LocationSecond Floor Atrium
DescriptionWhere does gold come from? Previously, physicists believed that the heaviest atoms including elements like lead, gold and Uranium were formed in supernovae. Recent research has suggested that this is not the case. Instead, merging neutron stars provide conditions for the rapid neutron capture process that synthesizes heavy elements. In this video, we show how scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) study neutron star mergers and the subsequent radioactive afterglow---a kilonova. This study is conducted via large-scale numerical simulations using various LANL developed codes. We give a brief overview on heavy element formation, introduce neutron star mergers and kilonovae, showcasing LANL codes used in pursuit of the study, and visualize simulation results. In particular, we produce a realistic image of a kilonova ejecta as it would appear for a nearby observer, which is the first time such a visualization is performed.
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