A New Multi-Dimensional General Relativistic Neutrino Hydrodynamics Code for Core-Collapse Supernovae II. Relativistic Explosion Models of Core-Collapse Supernovae
We present the first two-dimensional general relativistic (GR) simulations of stellar core collapse and explosion with the CoCoNuT hydrodynamics code in combination with the VERTEX solver for energy-dependent, three-flavor neutrino transport, using the extended conformal flatness condition for approximating the spacetime metric and a ray-by-ray-plus ansatz to tackle the multi-dimensionality of the transport. For both of the investigated 11.2 and 15 solar mass progenitors we obtain successful, though seemingly marginal, neutrino-driven supernova explosions. This outcome and the time evolution of the models basically agree with results previously obtained with the PROMETHEUS hydro solver including an approximative treatment of relativistic effects by a modified Newtonian potential. However, GR models exhibit subtle differences in the neutrinospheric conditions compared to Newtonian and pseudo-Newtonian simulations. These differences lead to significantly higher luminosities and mean energies of the radiated electron neutrinos and antineutrinos and therefore to larger energy-deposition rates and heating efficiencies in the gain layer with favorable consequences for strong non-radial mass motions and ultimately for an explosion. Moreover, energy transfer to the stellar medium around the neutrinospheres through nucleon recoil in scattering reactions of heavy-lepton neutrinos also enhances the mentioned effects. Together with previous pseudo-Newtonian models the presented relativistic calculations suggest that the treatment of gravity and energy-exchanging neutrino interactions can make differences of even 50-100% in some quantities and is likely to contribute to a finally successful explosion mechanism on no minor level than hydrodynamical differences between different dimensions.