Fr.: phase de Sedov-Taylor
The second phase in the evolution of a → supernova remnant (SNR) occurring after the → free expansion phase. After the passage of the → reverse shock, the interior of the SNR is so hot that the energy losses by radiation are very small (all atoms are → ionized, no → recombination). The expansion is driven by the → thermal pressure of the hot gas and can therefore be regarded as → adiabatic; the → cooling of the gas is only due to the → expansion. Pressure forces accelerate the swept-up → interstellar medium (ISM) converting → thermal energy (which came from original explosion) into → kinetic energy of the → shell of swept-up mass. As the mass of the ISM swept up by the shell increases, it eventually reaches densities which start to impede the free expansion. → Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities arise once the mass of the swept-up ISM approaches that of the ejected material. This causes the SNR's ejecta to become mixed with the gas that was just shocked by the initial → shock wave. The Sedov-Taylor phase lasts some 104 years and is followed by the radiative or → snowplow phase. Also called → adiabatic phase.
After Sedov, L. (1959, Similarity and Dimensional Methods in Mechanics, New York, Academic Press) and Taylor, G. I. (1950, Proc. Roy. Soc. London, A, 201, 159 and 175); → phase.