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Paper: Decoding Convection with White Dwarf Light Curves
Volume: 479, Progress in Physics of the Sun and Stars
Page: 257
Authors: Provencal, J. L.; Montgomery, M.; WET Team
Abstract: Convection remains one of the largest sources of theoretical uncertainty in our understanding of stellar physics. Current studies of convective energy transport are based on the Mixing Length Theory (MLT). As an example for white dwarfs, Bergeron et al. (1995) show that basic parameters such as flux, line profiles, energy distribution, color indices, and equivalent widths are extremely sensitive to the assumed MLT parameterization. This is compelling, since we use our knowledge of white dwarf interiors to calibrate white dwarf cooling sequences, provide detailed estimates for the ages of individual white dwarfs, and calibrate the age of the Galactic disk. The Whole Earth Telescope (WET) is engaged in a long term project to empirically determine the physical properties of convection in the atmospheres of pulsating white dwarfs. Our technique uses information from nonlinear (non-sinusoidal) pulse shapes of the target star to empirically probe the physical properties of its convection zone. We present current results from WET targets in 2008 – 2012.
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