Comments on 'numerical stability of detonations in white dwarf simulations'

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Katz& Zingale (KZ19) recently studied a one-dimensional test problem, intended to mimic the process of detonation ignition in head-on collisions of two carbon-oxygen (CO) white dwarfs. They do not obtain ignition of a detonation in pure CO compositions unless the temperature is artificially increased or 5 per cent He is included. In both of these cases they obtain converged ignition only for spatial resolutions better than 0.1 km, which are beyond the capability of multidimensional simulations. This is in a contradiction with the claims of Kushnir et al. (K13) that a convergence to similar to 10 per cent is achieved for a resolution of a few km. Using Eulerian and Lagrangian codes we show that a converged and resolved ignition is obtained for pure CO in this test problem without the need for He or increasing the temperature. The two codes agree to within 1 per cent and convergence is obtained at resolutions of several km. We calculate the case that includes He and obtain a similar slow convergence, but find that it is due to a boundary numerical artefact that can (and should) be avoided. Correcting the boundary conditions allows convergence with resolution of similar to 10 km in an agreement with the claims of K13. It is likely that the slow convergence obtained by KZ19 in this case is because of a similar boundary numerical artefact, but we are unable to verify this. KZ19 further recommended to avoid the use of the burning limiter introduced by K13. We show that their recommendation is not justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3760-3766
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Early online date25 Nov 2019
StatePublished - Jan 2020


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