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Type 1a Supernova - linking Nickel decay to luminosity

  1. Mar 21, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have a question in my coursework where I don't know where to start. I've got Nickel decaying post the explosion, I've got a time t, I've got an energy release per nucleus of Nickel, I've got a decay constant, I've got a light curve decay half life, and I've got a luminosity at time t. So how do I link these things togehter?


    2. Relevant equations
    What rate must Nickel be decaying at to give the luminosity at time t?


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not sure where to start. I have the formulae relating to numbers of nucleons of Nickel at time t=0, and time t, and imagine somehow I need to relate the energy liberated from the decay of each nucleon to the overall luminosity, but I've really tied myself in knots as to where to start
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2012 #2

    phyzguy

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    Science Advisor

    Well, you might start by asking yourself, "What is luminosity?" What are its units?
     
  4. Mar 21, 2012 #3
    So really that simple, how many nucleons of Nickel are burning up in MeV or J per second in order to give the luminosity? I didn't think it could be that simple, but now I've written it down with your prompt on units.......
     
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