Nearpolytropic stellar simulations with a radiative surface 

Axel Brandenburg Submitted: 20141213 13:52
Studies of solar and stellar convection often employ simple polytropic setups using the diffusion approximation instead of solving the proper radiative transfer equation. This allows one to control separately the polytropic index of the hydrostatic reference solution, the temperature contrast between top and bottom, and the Rayleigh and Peclet numbers. We extend such studies by including radiative transfer in the gray approximation using a Kramerslike opacity with freely adjustable coefficients. We study the properties of such models and compare them with results from the diffusion approximation. We use the Pencil Code, which is a highorder finite difference code where radiation is treated using the method of long characteristics. The source function is given by the Planck function. The opacity is written as kappa=kappa_0 rho^a T^b, where b is varied from 3.5 to +5, and kappa_0 is varied by four orders of magnitude. We consider sets of one dimensional models and perform a comparison with the diffusion approximation. Except for the case where b=5, we find onedimensional hydrostatic equilibria with a nearly polytropic stratification and a polytropic index close to n=(3b)/(1+a), covering both convectively stable (n>3/2) and unstable (n<3/2) cases. For b=3 and a=1, the value of n is undefined a priori and the actual value of n depends then on the depth of the domain. For large values of \kappa_0, the thermal adjustment time becomes long, the Peclet and Rayleigh numbers become large, and the temperature contrast increases and is thus no longer an independent input parameter, unless the Stefan Boltzmann constant is considered adjustable. Proper radiative transfer with Kramerslike opacities provides a useful tool for studying stratified layers with a radiative surface in ways that are more physical than what is possible with polytropic models using the diffusion approximation.
Authors: Barekat, A., & Brandenburg, A.
Projects: None

Publication Status: Astron. Astrophys. 571, A68 (2014)
Last Modified: 20141215 14:00


