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Paper: EC 20058-5234: A DBV White Dwarf and a Possible Plasmon Neutrino Detector
Volume: 334, 14th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
Page: 495
Authors: Sullivan, D.J.
Abstract: White dwarfs with effective temperatures higher than about 25,000K are cooled by core neutrino emission in addition to the surface photon flux. These neutrinos are created by the electroweak interaction operating in the hot dense plasmas within white dwarf interiors, and it is the plasmon neutrino process that dominates. Although high energy accelerator experiments have verified many aspects of electroweak theory, there have been no tests in the low energy regime relevant for astrophysical plasmas. The neutrino flux escapes directly from the white dwarf core and will therefore increase its cooling rate; in principle, this is measurable over timescales of years to tens of years by detecting very small consequential increases in the periods of suitably stable pulsators. The hot, helium atmosphere DBV pulsators are predicted to have neutrino luminosities that exceed their photon luminosities. The object EC20058−5234 is one of these, and the data set accumulated to date (which includes a Whole Earth Telescope run) indicates that it is good candidate plasmon neutrino detector: it has an uncomplicated pulsation spectrum with low amplitude stable modes. We report progress on the study of this interesting star as well as provide a brief physical overview of the neutrino creation processes.
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