Low mass binary neutron star mergers: Gravitational waves and neutrino emission

Francois Foucart, Roland Haas, Matthew D. Duez, Evan O'Connor, Christian D. Ott, Luke Roberts, Lawrence E. Kidder, Jonas Lippuner, Harald P. Pfeiffer, Mark A. Scheel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutron star mergers are among the most promising sources of gravitational waves for advanced ground-based detectors. These mergers are also expected to power bright electromagnetic signals, in the form of short gamma-ray bursts, infrared/optical transients powered by r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron-rich material ejected by the merger, and radio emission from the interaction of that ejecta with the interstellar medium. Simulations of these mergers with fully general relativistic codes are critical to understand the merger and postmerger gravitational wave signals and their neutrinos and electromagnetic counterparts. In this paper, we employ the Spectral Einstein Code to simulate the merger of low mass neutron star binaries (two 1.2M neutron stars) for a set of three nuclear-theory-based, finite temperature equations of state. We show that the frequency peaks of the postmerger gravitational wave signal are in good agreement with predictions obtained from recent simulations using a simpler treatment of gravity. We find, however, that only the fundamental mode of the remnant is excited for long periods of time: emission at the secondary peaks is damped on a millisecond time scale in the simulated binaries. For such low mass systems, the remnant is a massive neutron star which, depending on the equation of state, is either permanently stable or long lived (i.e. rapid uniform rotation is sufficient to prevent its collapse). We observe strong excitations of l=2, m=2 modes, both in the massive neutron star and in the form of hot, shocked tidal arms in the surrounding accretion torus. We estimate the neutrino emission of the remnant using a neutrino leakage scheme and, in one case, compare these results with a gray two-moment neutrino transport scheme. We confirm the complex geometry of the neutrino emission, also observed in previous simulations with neutrino leakage, and show explicitly the presence of important differences in the neutrino luminosity, disk composition, and outflow properties between the neutrino leakage and transport schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044019
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 8 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Low mass binary neutron star mergers: Gravitational waves and neutrino emission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this