Type Ia Supernovae : Homogeneity and Diversity
Abstract (Summary)The use of type Ia supernovae as distance estimators has shown that about 75% of the energy content of the universe has a negative equation of state parameter and thus, drives the acceleration of the universe. Constraining the exact nature of this energy is one of the main goals in cosmology. As the statistics of observed high-redshift supernovae increases, systematic effects become the limiting factor to pursue such investigations, thus deeper understanding of the physical properties of SNe is of great importance.In this thesis we investigate spectral homogeneity and diversity of local and high redshift supernovae. Special emphasis has been given to the analysis of optical spectra of local peculiar supernovae 1999aa and 1999ac. The study of the spectra of SN 1999aa pointed out that this SN could be a link between the extreme peculiar SN 1991T and normal SNe. Moreover, the identification of a high velocity component of Ca II and possibly of a low velocity component of C III suggests some degree of asphericity in the ejecta of this supernova. Evidence for a deflagration of a C+O white dwarf was found in the early spectra of SN 1999ac.The spectral proprieties of a vast sample of local SNe are also studied by means of newly introduced spectral indicators. These were used to possibly improve the intrinsic spread of SN peak magnitudes to 0.15 mag, independently of light curve parameters.The first quantitative comparison between local and high redshift supernova is carried out. No evidence for extreme peculiar sub-luminous SNe was found in our data set including 13 SNe with redshift range z=0.279-0.912. Furthermore, SN2002fd (z=0.279) was found to show spectral characteristics similar to SN 1991T/SN 1999aa-like supernovae.We also present a feasibility study of the Hubble diagram in rest frame I-band up to z~0.5, and show the possibility to probe the presence of intergalactic dust, which could possibly mimic the effect of dark energy in the Hubble diagram.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Date of Publication:01/01/2004