The observed falloff in the white dwarf luminosity function at log (L/L⊙) ≈ −4.5 (Liebert, Dahn, and Monet 1988) is most easily explained as a result of the finite age of the Galactic disk. Using a simple perturbation approach as our method and a white dwarf evolution code as our tool, we have mapped the sensitivity of the ages of the model sequences in this low-luminosity regime to the uncertainties in the input physics and model parameters. We present here a preliminary overview of what we’ve learned.
We have updated the White Dwarf Evolution Code of Lamb and Van Horn (1975) to include both carbon and oxygen in the core. We interpolate to the mixture composition using our pure-C and pure-O tables and the additive-volume technique (Fontaine, Graboske, and Van Horn 1977). The envelope subroutines calculate stratified H/He/C envelopes of essentially arbitrary layer masses within the range 0 to ∼ 10−2M*, and treat the composition transition zones as discontinuities. Because the equation of state tables referenced by the envelope routines do not include crystallization, a given sequence ends when the crystallization front reaches the core/envelope boundary.