Hypermassive neutron stars (HMNSs)-equilibrium configurations supported against collapse by rapid differential rotation-are possible transient remnants of binary neutron-star mergers. Using newly developed codes for magnetohydrodynamic simulations in dynamical spacetimes, we are able to track the evolution of a magnetized HMNS in full general relativity for the first time. We find that secular angular momentum transport due to magnetic braking and the magnetorotational instability results in the collapse of an HMNS to a rotating black hole, accompanied by a gravitational wave burst. The nascent black hole is surrounded by a hot, massive torus undergoing quasistationary accretion and a collimated magnetic field. This scenario suggests that HMNS collapse is a possible candidate for the central engine of short gamma-ray bursts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)