A Model for Gravitational Wave Emission in Neutrino-Driven Core-Collapse Supernovae

Jeremiah W. Murphy, Christian D. Ott, Adam Burrows
The Astrophysical Journal, 707, 1173 (2009), arXiv:0907.4762

- Gravitational Wave Signal Data -


Using a suite of progenitor models (12, 15, 20 and 40 solar masses) and neutrino luminosities in two-dimensional (2D) simulations, we investigate the gravitational-wave (GW) emission from postbounce phases of core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe). We characterize the matter GW signatures of prompt convection, steady-state convection, the standing accretion shock instability (SASI) , and asymmetric explosions. The characteristic GW frequency evolves from ~100 Hz just after bounce to ~300-400 Hz, with higher frequencies corresponding to higher mass progenitors and models that take longer to explode by the neutrino mechanism. After vigorous convective/SASI motions start, the GW strain amplitude increases roughly tenfold and shows features that strongly correlate with downdrafts striking the protoneutron star (PNS) ``surface.'' During explosion, the high frequency signal wanes and is replaced by a strong low frequency, ~10s of Hz, signal that reveals the general morphology of the explosion (i.e. prolate, oblate, or spherical). However, ``seeing'' the explosion morphology requires direct observations of the GW strain amplitude at low frequencies, and current and near-future GW detectors are sensitive to GW power at frequencies > ~50 Hz. In practice, the signature of explosion for these detectors will be the abrupt reduction of detectable GW emission. For the stages before explosion, we propose a model for the source of GW emission that explains the characteristic frequencies and amplitudes. Downdrafts of the postshock-convection/SASI region strike the PNS ``surface'' with large speeds and are decelerated by buoyancy forces. We find that the GW amplitude is set by the magnitude of deceleration and, by extension, the downdraft's speed. However, the characteristic frequencies are primarily independent of these speeds (and turnover timescales), but are set by the deceleration timescale, which is in turn set by the buoyancy frequency (Brunt-Väisälä frequency) at the lower boundary of postshock convection. Since the buoyancy frequency is determined by global and local properties, the GW characteristic frequencies are dependent upon a combination of the dense-matter equation of state (EOS) and the specifics that determine the gradients at the boundary, including the mass-accretion-rate history, the EOS at subnuclear densities, and neutrino transport. In summary, detection of GWs from CCSNe may reveal details of the core structure and dynamics of the explosion mechanism.


Below we provide gravitational wave signature data for our model set discussed in this paper. For each model we compute and make available here the gravitational wave emissions from matter motions (on the entire grid) via the slow-motion, weak-field quadrupole approximation. Details on the extraction formalism can be found in the paper.

All models are nonrotating. The gravitational-wave emission is due to prompt and neutrino-driven postbounce convection and to the standing-accretion-shock instability. Emission characteristics are discussed at length in the paper. A recent review on the overall gravitational-wave signature of core-collapse supernovae can be found in Ott 2009.

A quantitative summary of the gravitational-wave results can be found here (PNG) or here (PDF). All data files are in gzipped plain text ASCII format with two columns: time (in seconds) and h_+ at an assumed source distance of 10 kpc and as seen by an equatorial observer.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments concerning the waveform data:

UPDATE 2011/12/20: We have discovered an error that occurred when converting our raw GW data to the datafiles that we have provided here. The waveforms previously provided here were inconsistent with those used in the publication. This error has been corrected and the waveforms provided here are now fully consistent with the ones discussed in the paper.


Progenitor Mass
Electron Neutrino Luminosity
(10 B)
GW Data
time (s), h_+ (at 10 kpc)
12 1.8 download
12 2.2 download
12 2.8 download
12 3.2 download
15 3.2 download
15 3.4 download
15 3.7 download
15 4.0 download
20 3.2 download
20 3.4 download
20 3.6 download
20 3.8 download
40 6.0 download
40 10.0 download
40 12.0 download
40 13.0 download
Download tar ball with all waveforms from models