We study the multi-dimensional properties of neutrino transfer inside supernova cores by solving the Boltzmann equations for neutrino distribution functions in genuinely six-dimensional phase space. Adopting representative snapshots of the post-bounce core from other supernova simulations in three dimensions, we solve the temporal evolution to stationary states of neutrino distribution functions using our Boltzmann solver. Taking advantage of the multi-angle and multi-energy feature realized by the S n method in our code, we reveal the genuine characteristics of spatially three-dimensional neutrino transfer, such as nonradial fluxes and nondiagonal Eddington tensors. In addition, we assess the ray-by-ray approximation, turning off the lateral-transport terms in our code. We demonstrate that the ray-by-ray approximation tends to propagate fluctuations in thermodynamical states around the neutrino sphere along each radial ray and overestimate the variations between the neutrino distributions on different radial rays. We find that the difference in the densities and fluxes of neutrinos between the ray-by-ray approximation and the full Boltzmann transport becomes 20%, which is also the case for the local heating rate, whereas the volume-integrated heating rate in the Boltzmann transport is found to be only slightly larger (2%) than the counterpart in the ray-by-ray approximation due to cancellation among different rays. These results suggest that we should carefully assess the possible influences of various approximations in the neutrino transfer employed in current simulations of supernova dynamics. Detailed information on the angle and energy moments of neutrino distribution functions will be profitable for the future development of numerical methods in neutrino-radiation hydrodynamics.
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