Asteroseismic constraints on diffusion in white dwarf envelopes

A. Bischoff-Kim, T. S. Metcalfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The asteroseismic analysis of white dwarfs allows us to peer below their photospheres and determine their internal structure. At ~28000K EC20058-5234 is the hottest known pulsating helium atmosphere white dwarf. As such, it constitutes an important link in the evolution of white dwarfs down the cooling track. It is also astrophysically interesting because it is at a temperature where white dwarfs are expected to cool mainly through the emission of plasmon neutrinos. In the present work, we perform an asteroseismic analysis of EC20058-5234 and place the results in the context of stellar evolution and time-dependent diffusion calculations. We use a parallel genetic algorithm complemented with targeted grid searches to find the models that fit the observed periods best. Comparing our results with similar modelling of EC20058-5234's cooler cousin CBS114, we find a helium envelope thickness consistent with time-dependent diffusion calculations and obtain a precise mode identification for EC20058-5234.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-409
Number of pages6
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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