WDEC: A code for modeling white dwarf structure and pulsations

Agnès Bischoff-Kim, Michael H. Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The White Dwarf Evolution Code (WDEC), written in Fortran, makes models of white dwarf stars. It is fast, versatile, and includes the latest physics. The code evolves hot (∼100,000 K) input models down to a chosen effective temperature by relaxing the models to be solutions of the equations of stellar structure. The code can also be used to obtain g-mode oscillation modes for the models. WDEC has a long history going back to the late 1960s. Over the years, it has been updated and re-packaged for modern computer architectures and has specifically been used in computationally intensive asteroseismic fitting. Generations of white dwarf astronomers and dozens of publications have made use of the WDEC, although the last true instrument paper is the original one, published in 1975. This paper discusses the history of the code, necessary to understand why it works the way it does, details the physics and features in the code today, and points the reader to where to find the code and a user guide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number187
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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