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In general, calculating the amount of energy liberated in a supernova is extremely complicated, and usually requires a numerical simulation. However, with very simple arguments it is possible to obtain the order of magnitude of the energy. In this page we will present these arguments.

Type I Edit

It is postulated that the source of energy for this kind of supernovae is thermonuclear burning. The total mass of available fuel is of the order of 1 solar mass $ M_\odot $, and each baryon (whose mass we assume to be $ m_p $) contributes energy $ \varepsilon \approx 1 MeV $ , so the total energy can be evaluated using

$ \frac{M_\odot}{m_p} \varepsilon \approx 2 \cdot 10^{51} erg $

Core Collapse Edit

In this case we assume that the explosion is fueled by gravity. We assume that the star shrinks to a radius much smaller that the initial radius, so latter can be disregarded. If we assume that the typical mass of the core is one solar mass $ 1 M_\odot $, and that the final radius is that of a typical neutron star $ R_{ns} = 10 km $ we get

$ \frac{G M_\odot^2}{R_{ns}} = 2\cdot 10^{53} erg $

This is one to two order of magnitude larger than the typical observed energy of a supernova. The reason is that most of the energy is released in the form of Neutrinos.