Journal article Open Access

A Systematic Survey of the Effects of Wind Mass Loss Algorithms on the Evolution of Single Massive Stars

Mathieu, Renzo; Christian, D. Ott; Steven, N. Shore; Selma, E. de Mink

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  <dc:creator>Mathieu, Renzo</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Christian, D. Ott</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Steven, N. Shore</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Selma, E. de Mink</dc:creator>
  <dc:description>Mass loss processes are a key uncertainty in the evolution of massive stars. They determine the amount of mass and angular momentum retained by the star, thus influencing its evolution and presupernova structure. Because of the high complexity of the physical processes driving mass loss, stellar evolution calculations must employ parametric algorithms, and usually only include wind mass loss. We carried out an extensive parameter study of wind mass loss and its effects on massive star evolution using the open-source stellar evolution code MESA. We provide a systematic comparison of wind mass loss algorithms for solar-metallicity, nonrotating, single stars in the initial mass range of $15\,M_\odot$ to $35 M_\odot$. We consider combinations drawn from two hot phase (i.e.,\ roughly the main sequence) algorithms, three cool phase (i.e., post-main-sequence) algorithms, and two Wolf-Rayet mass loss algorithms. We discuss separately the effects of mass loss in each of these phases. In addition, we consider linear wind efficiency scale factors of $1$, $0.33$, and $0.1$ to account for suggested reductions in mass loss rates due to wind inhomogeneities.  We find that the initial to final mass mapping for each zero-age main-sequence (ZAMS) mass has a $\sim 50\%$ uncertainty if all algorithm combinations and wind efficiencies are considered. The ad-hoc efficiency scale factor dominates this uncertainty. While the final total mass and internal structure of our models vary tremendously with mass loss treatment, final luminosity and effective temperature are much less sensitive for stars with ZAMS mass $\lesssim 30\,M_\odot$.  This indicates that uncertainty in wind mass loss does not negatively affect estimates of the ZAMS mass of most single-star supernova progenitors from pre-explosion observations.  Our results furthermore show that the internal structure of presupernova stars is sensitive to variations in both main sequence and post main-sequence mass loss. The compactness parameter $\xi \propto \mathcal{M}/R(\mathcal{M})$ has been identified as a proxy for the "explodability" of a given presupernova model. We find that $\xi$ varies by as much as $30\%$ for models of the same ZAMS mass evolved with different wind efficiencies and mass loss algorithm combinations. This suggests that the details of the mass loss treatment might bias the outcome of detailed core-collapse supernova calculations and the predictions for neutron star and black hole formation.

Each tarball contains the stellar structure for the corresponding check point (.data file) and a model that can be used as a starting point for computations with MESA (.mod). Input parameter files are available at</dc:description>
  <dc:description>Acknowledgements. We wish to thank B. Paxton, F. Timmes, and R. Farmer for invaluable help with MESA. We acknowledge helpful exchanges with W. D. Arnett, M. Cantiello, D. Clausen, A. de Koter, L. Dessart, Y. Götberg, A. L. Piro, J. Fuller, N. Smith, and E. Zapartas. MR thanks the University of Pisa, where part of this work was carried out as his Master Thesis in Physics, and acknowledges the precious support of the "Lorentz group". This work is supported in part by NSF under grant numbers AST-1205732, AST-1212170, and PHY-1151197, and by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. Some of the computations used resources of NSF's XSEDE network under allocation TG-PHY100033. Most of the simulation were carried out using the  Caltech compute cluster Zwicky funded through NSF grant no. PHY-0960291 and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. The runs to the onset of core collapse were carried out on the Dutch national e-infrastructure  Cartesius, project number 15162) with the support of the SURF Cooperative.</dc:description>
  <dc:subject>stars: evolution – massive – mass loss – winds – supernovae: general</dc:subject>
  <dc:title>A Systematic Survey of the Effects of Wind Mass Loss Algorithms on the Evolution of Single Massive Stars</dc:title>
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