660. Wilhelm und Else Heraeus-Seminar

Supernovae - From Simulations to Observations and Nucleosynthetic Fingerprints

January 21-24, 2018
Physikzentrum Bad Honnef, Germany
Application deadline: September 30, 2017

SOC: Dr. Anders Jerkstrand (MPA Garching), Dr. Markus Kromer (ZAH/HITS), Dr. Bernhard Müller (QUB)
Generously funded by the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Stiftung.

Scientific Rationale

Observations and theoretical models have made impressive progress in understanding supernova explosions from massive stars and white dwarfs thanks to the advent of huge transient surveys and advances in high-performance computing. To consolidate progress, it is important to make specialists in different aspects of supernova research aware of progress and challenges on other fronts. This Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Seminar "Supernovae - From Simulations to Observations and Nucleosynthetic Fingerprints", to be held at Physikzentrum Bad Honnef from January 22 to 24, 2018 will bring together world-leading experts, early career researchers, and students to discuss the physical modelling of stellar explosions, their nucleosynthesis, radiation transfer, and supernova observations to further our understanding of these dramatic events that are crucial for the chemical enrichment of the Universe. We aim for a total of about 60 participants (13 invited speakers, 20 contributed-talk speakers, and 30 poster presenters).


Participants will arrive to the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef during the afternoon of January 21. Registration will start during the late afternoon and will be followed by a kick-off meeting on Sunday evening. Monday and Tuesday will be filled with talks and poster viewings. On Wednesday, the seminar will finish after lunch. A detailed schedule will be posted here after the application period has closed.

Key science topics

  • What are the explosion mechanisms of SNe? Which CCSNe are neutrino-driven, and for which ones do we need some kind of magneto-rotational mechanism? How are black holes formed and what is the SN-GRB connection? Are thermonuclear explosions dominated by deflagration or detonation burning? Do they explode near or below the Chandrasekhar-mass limit of CO WDs? 3D effects are critical to make progress on these questions, and the workshop will have a strong focus on the latest 3D models.
  • What nucleosynthesis do SNe produce? SNe are believed to be the main factories of all heavy elements in the Universe, but little quantitative results yet exist on this process. How well do we understand the origin of different elements, from comparison of nucleosynthesis models and spectral analysis? What does the production of different elements tell us about the progenitor and explosion properties?
  • What do current models for light curves and spectra of SNe tell us? The critical link between explosion models and observations is the radiative transfer modelling of light curves and spectra. What properties can we robustly infer with modern codes, and what properties are still difficult to pin down due to limitations in the physical modelling? How do these limitations affect our search for the progenitors of SNe? Can we constrain the most fundamental parameter of the progenitors: the mass of the exploding star?
  • What new observational data are needed to make the next breakthroughs? It is at the interface between forefront theory and observations that progress is made. What are the current theoretical predictions that are most valuable to test observationally, in particular in the context of the 'zoo' of transients discovered in the past decade?

Confirmed speakers

  • Almudena Arcones (TU Darmstadt)
  • Sergei Blinnikov (ITEP Moscow)
  • Claes Fransson (Stockholm University)
  • John Hillier (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Thomas Janka (MPA Garching)
  • Kate Maguire (Queen's University Belfast)
  • Paolo Mazzali (Liverpool John Moores University)
  • Maryam Modjaz (New York University)
  • Martin Obergaulinger (University of Valencia)
  • Friedrich Röpke (HITS Heidelberg)
  • Ivo Seitenzahl (University of New South Wales, Canberra)
  • Jesper Sollerman (Stockholm University)
  • Claudia Travaglio (INAF Turin)


The seminar will be held at the Physikzentrum Bad Honnef (Hauptstrasse 5, 53604 Bad Honnef, Germany). The Physikzentrum is run by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e.V. (German Physical Society) and supported by the University of Bonn and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The stately mansion housing the Physikzentrum is surrounded by a park at the foot of the Siebengebirge on the right bank of the Rhine River. Public transport offers convenient access to the nearby cities of Bonn (15 km) and Cologne (40 km). For detailed travel instructions see here or ask Google Maps for the best route.

Accommodation and meals will be provided in the Physikzentrum for all participants free of charge, thanks to generous funding by the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Stiftung.


Application deadline: September 30, 2017

The number of participants, in addition to the invited speakers, is limited to 50. Among those 20 will have the opportunity to give a contributed talk. All other participants are expected to present a poster on their research topic. We will have plenty of time for poster discussion and there will be two poster sessions where the participants can advertise their posters in short 3-minute flash talks. The best three posters (selected by a vote among the participants) will be awarded with a poster prize.

Participants will be selected among those who submit the application form below. Selection criteria are scientific quality and topic of the proposed contribution, as well as gender and career stage to match the goal of the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Stiftung to promote young and female scientists. All applicants will be informed regarding their acceptance shortly after the application deadline. Selected applicants will also be notified by the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Stiftung, which will provide free board and lodging for the accepted participants at the conference venue.

By applying, you consent to storing and processing of the above data. Applicant data will only be used to select participants for this seminar and will be deleted thereafter. Participant data will be stored until the seminar has finished. E-mail addressess will be used to inform applicants on the outcome of the selection process and selected participants on further details on the seminar. To this end participant data will be shared with the Wilhelm und Else Heraeus Stiftung.

If you do not see a confirmation screen with your application data after hitting "Apply", please contact the organizers at weh660@gmail.com.


In case of any questions concerning the seminar please contact us at weh660@gmail.com

Scientific Organization Committee

Dr. Anders Jerkstrand
Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1
85748 Garching, Germany

Dr. Markus Kromer
HITS gGmbH - Heidelberger Institut für theoretische Studien
Schloß-Wolfsbrunnenweg 35
69118 Heidelberg, Germany

Dr. Bernhard Müller
School of Physics and Astronomy
Monash University
Victoria 3800, Australia