Black hole-neutron star binary merger calculations: GRB progenitors and the stability of mass transfer

Joshua A. Faber, Thomas W. Baumgarte, Stuart L. Shapiro, Keisuke Taniguchi, Frederic A. Rasio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We have calculated the first dynamical evolutions of merging black hole-neutron star binaries that treat the combined spacetime in a nonperturbative general relativistic framework. Using the conformal flatness approximation, we have studied how the location of the tidal disruption radius with respect to the the black hole horizon and innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) affects the qualitative evolution of the system. Based on simple arguments, we show that for a binary mass ratio q ∼ 0.24, tidal disruption occurs outside the ISCO, while the opposite is true for q ≲0.24. When tidal disruption occurs sufficiently far outside the ISCO, mass is transferred unstably from the neutron star to the black hole, resulting in the complete disruption of the neutron star. When tidal disruption occurs slightly within the ISCO, we find that some of the mass forms an extremely hot disk around the black hole. The resulting configurations in this case are excellent candidates for the progenitors of short-hard gamma ray bursts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAlbert Einstein Century International Conference
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2006
EventAlbert Einstein Century International Conference - Paris, France
Duration: Jul 18 2005Jul 22 2005

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


OtherAlbert Einstein Century International Conference


  • Black holes
  • Gamma ray bursts
  • Gravitational radiation
  • Neutron stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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