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Contact: F.X.Timmes
my one page vitae,
full vitae,
research statement, and
teaching statement.
Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA):
Binaries, Pulsations, and Explosions - 2015


In this paper, we substantially update the capabilities of the open-source software instrument Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA). MESA can now simultaneously evolve an interacting pair of differentially rotating stars undergoing transfer and loss of mass and angular momentum, greatly enhancing the prior ability to model binary evolution. New MESA capabilities in fully coupled calculation of nuclear networks with hundreds of isotopes now allow MESA to accurately simulate advanced burning stages needed to construct supernova progenitor models. Implicit hydrodynamics with shocks can now be treated with MESA, enabling modeling of the entire massive star lifecycle, from pre-main sequence evolution to the onset of core collapse and nucleosynthesis from the resulting explosion. Coupling of the GYRE non-adiabatic pulsation instrument with MESA allows for new explorations of the instability strips for massive stars while also accelerating the astrophysical use of asteroseismology data. We improve treatment of mass accretion, giving more accurate and robust near-surface profiles. A new MESA capability to calculate weak reaction rates "on-the-fly" from input nuclear data allows better simulation of accretion induced collapse of massive white dwarfs and the fate of some massive stars. We discuss the ongoing challenge of chemical diffusion in the strongly coupled plasma regime, and exhibit improvements in MESA that now allow for the simulation of radiative levitation of heavy elements in hot stars. We close by noting that the MESA software infrastructure provides bit-for-bit consistency for all results across all the supported platforms, a profound enabling capability for accelerating MESA's development.

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16 M + 14 M binary
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Instability strips
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1.57 foe explosion


Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA):
Giant Planets, Oscillations, Rotation, and Massive Stars - 2013


In this paper, we substantially update the capabilities of the open source software package Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA), and its one-dimensional stellar evolution module, MESAstar. Improvements in MESAstar's ability to model the evolution of giant planets now extends its applicability down to masses as low as one-tenth that of Jupiter. The dramatic improvement in asteroseismology enabled by the space-based Kepler and CoRoT missions motivates our full coupling of the ADIPLS adiabatic pulsation code with MESAstar. This also motivates a numerical recasting of the Ledoux criterion that is more easily implemented when many nuclei are present at non-negligible abundances. This impacts the way in which MESAstar calculates semi-convective and thermohaline mixing. We exhibit the evolution of 3-8 Msun stars through the end of core He burning, the onset of He thermal pulses, and arrival on the white dwarf cooling sequence. We implement diffusion of angular momentum and chemical abundances that enable calculations of rotating-star models, which we compare thoroughly with earlier work. We introduce a new treatment of radiation-dominated envelopes that allows the uninterrupted evolution of massive stars to core collapse. This enables the generation of new sets of supernovae, long gamma-ray burst, and pair-instability progenitor models. We substantially modify the way in which MESAstar solves the fully coupled stellar structure and composition equations, and we show how this has improved MESA's performance scaling on multi-core processors. Updates to the modules for equation of state, opacity, nuclear reaction rates, and atmospheric boundary conditions are also provided. We describe the MESA Software Development Kit (SDK) that packages all the required components needed to form a unified and maintained build environment for MESA.

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Giant planet evolution
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Echelle diagram of HD43985.
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Magnetic field and angular momentum


Modules For Experiments In Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) - 2011

In this paper, we describe Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA), a suite of open source, robust, efficient, thread-safe libraries for a wide range of applications in computational stellar astrophysics. A one-dimensional stellar evolution module, MESAstar, combines many of the numerical and physics modules for simulations of a wide range of stellar evolution scenarios ranging from very low mass to massive stars, including advanced evolutionary phases. MESAstar solves the fully coupled structure and composition equations simultaneously. It uses adaptive mesh refinement and sophisticated timestep controls, and supports shared memory parallelism based on OpenMP. State-of-the-art modules provide equation of state, opacity, nuclear reaction rates, element diffusion data, and atmosphere boundary conditions. Each module is constructed as a separate Fortran 95 library with its own explicitly defined public interface to facilitate independent development. Several detailed examples indicate the extensive verification and testing that is continuously performed and demonstrate the wide range of capabilities that MESA possesses. MESA can be downloaded from the project Web site http://mesa.sourceforge.net/

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Equation of State
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Opacity
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Massive stars in ρ-T plane


 



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