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Abstract: Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) are among the most energetic stellar explosions. With typical luminosities several billion times that of the Sun, SNe Ia are visible across a large fraction of the observable universe, and enabled the discovery of its accelerated expansion. These events are thought to result from the thermonuclear disruption of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf (WD) star as it approaches the Chandrasekhar-mass limit, through accretion from a binary companion. However, the nature of this companion and the mechanism by which the WD explodes are still debated. In this first talk Stephane will give an overview of the observed properties of SNe Ia and present the physical basis that led to the elaboration of a standard model for these events. He will also highlight several open questions that will need to be addressed with future observations and numerical simulations.
Part 2 on 20th July, 11am; part 3 on 21st July, 12:00.
Stephane is a Cluster guest. Local host: Bruno Leibundgut (ESO)