Thermohaline Mixing in Low-Mass Red Giant Stars

2019-06-14T05:42:29Z (GMT) by KATE HENKEL
In this thesis we investigate an unknown mixing mechanism that occurs in the interiors of low-mass red giants, which are stars approximately the same mass as our Sun and significantly larger. To study this mechanism, we use observations of the surface elemental abundances of groups of stars, which show that at a particular point in stars’ lives, some elemental abundances change according to mixing occurring in the interior. A popular theory to explain this is thermohaline mixing, a diffusive process originally found to occur in Earth’s oceans. We compare our stellar models to observations to learn more about this mixing.


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