Supernova Model Discrimination With Hyper-Kamiokande
Core-collapse supernovae are among the most magnificent events in the observable universe. They produce many of the chemical elements necessary for life to exist and their remnants-neutron stars and black holes-are interesting astrophysical objects in their own right. However, despite millennia of observations and almost a century of astrophysical study, the explosion mechanism of core-collapse supernovae is not yet well understood. Hyper-Kamiokande is a next-generation neutrino detector that will be able to observe the neutrino flux from the next galactic core-collapse supernova in unprecedented detail. We focus on the first 500 ms of the neutrino burst, corresponding to the accretion phase, and use a newly-developed, high-precision supernova event generator to simulate Hyper-Kamiokande's response to five different supernova models. We show that Hyper-Kamiokande will be able to distinguish between these models with high accuracy for a supernova at a distance of up to 100 kpc. Once the next galactic supernova happens, this ability will be a powerful tool for guiding simulations toward a precise reproduction of the explosion mechanism observed in nature.