Thesis Topic: Pinning down the nature of Type Ia SN progenitors
Thesis Supervisor: Ferdinando Patat
Type Ia Supernovae (SNIa) have played a major role in precision cosmology. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great effort the community has put in studying them, the physics of the explosion and the nature of the progenitor system remain unclear, casting legitimate doubts on the conclusions we have reached on the evolution of the Universe.
Recently, one possible way of disentangling between different progenitor scenarios has been proposed and exploited on the nearby SN2006X (Patat et al. 2007, Science, 317, 924). This technique makes use of multi epoch, high-resolution spectroscopy of bright SNIa, with the aim of detecting time-variable absorption features that are supposed to arise in the circum-stellar material.
The project will make use of high spectral resolution UVES-VLT data and possibly other data sets obtained in the framework of a large international collaboration. This will ensure data of unprecedented quality and give the Ph.D. student the possibility of doing front-line research using status-of-the-art facilities.