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Rogue Waves on Pulsating White Dwarf Stars

J.J. Hermes

University of North Carolina

While it has been an efficient planet-discovery machine, the unblinking photometry of the Kepler space telescope has also revolutionized the way we look at pulsating stars. I will discuss some of the rapid advances Kepler has enabled in our understanding of white dwarf stars, including a completely unexpected new physical phenomenon: large-amplitude outbursts in the coolest pulsating white dwarfs. These outbursts are essentially rogue waves, sporadically increases the overall stellar brightness by up to 15%. The outbursts have provided fresh insight into how pulsation energy can be transferred through nonlinear resonances, as well as the eventual cessation of pulsations in cool white dwarfs.

Date: Thursday, 7 April 2016
Time: 11:30
Where: Université de Montréal
  Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460
Contact: Patrick Dufour

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