### Differentially Rotating White Dwarfs I: Regimes of Internal Rotation

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Most viable models of Type Ia supernovae (SN~Ia) require the thermonuclear explosion of a carbon/oxygen white dwarf that has evolved in a binary system. Rotation could be an important aspect of any model for SN~Ia, whether single or double degenerate, with the white dwarf mass at, below, or above the Chandrasekhar limit. {\sl Differential rotation} is specifically invoked in attempts to account for the apparent excess mass in the super--Chandrasekhar events. Some earlier work has suggested that only uniform rotation is consistent with the expected mechanisms of angular momentum transport in white dwarfs, while others have found pronounced differential rotation. We show that if the baroclinic instability is active in degenerate matter and the effects of magnetic fields are neglected, both nearly-uniform and strongly-differential rotation are possible. We classify rotation regimes in terms of the Richardson number, Ri. At small values of Ri $\leq$ 0.1, we find both the low-viscosity Zahn regime with a non-monotonic angular velocity profile and a new differential rotation regime for which the viscosity is high and scales linearly with the shear, $\sigma$. Employment of Kelvin-Helmholtz viscosity alone yields differential rotation. Large values of Ri $\gg$ 1 produce a regime of nearly-uniform rotation for which the baroclinic viscosity is of intermediate value and scales as $\sigma^3$. We discuss the gap in understanding of the behavior at intermediate values of Ri and how observations may constrain the rotation regimes attained by nature.