A spectral synthesis code for rapid modelling of supernovae

21 Jan 2014  ·  Wolfgang E. Kerzendorf, Stuart A. Sim ·

We present TARDIS - an open-source code for rapid spectral modelling of supernovae (SNe). Our goal is to develop a tool that is sufficiently fast to allow exploration of the complex parameter spaces of models for SN ejecta. This can be used to analyse the growing number of high-quality SN spectra being obtained by transient surveys. The code uses Monte Carlo methods to obtain a self-consistent description of the plasma state and to compute a synthetic spectrum. It has a modular design to facilitate the implementation of a range of physical approximations that can be compared to asses both accuracy and computational expediency. This will allow users to choose a level of sophistication appropriate for their application. Here, we describe the operation of the code and make comparisons with alternative radiative transfer codes of differing levels of complexity (SYN++, PYTHON, and ARTIS). We then explore the consequence of adopting simple prescriptions for the calculation of atomic excitation, focussing on four species of relevance to Type Ia supernova spectra - Si II, S II, Mg II, and Ca II. We also investigate the influence of three methods for treating line interactions on our synthetic spectra and the need for accurate radiative rate estimates in our scheme.

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics