Neutron star-black hole mergers with a nuclear equation of state and neutrino cooling: Dependence in the binary parameters

Francois Foucart, M. Brett Deaton, Matthew D. Duez, Evan O'Connor, Christian D. Ott, Roland Haas, Lawrence E. Kidder, Harald P. Pfeiffer, Mark A. Scheel, Bela Szilagyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a first exploration of the results of neutron star-black hole mergers using black hole masses in the most likely range of 7M-10M, a neutrino leakage scheme, and a modeling of the neutron star material through a finite-temperature nuclear-theory based equation of state. In the range of black hole spins in which the neutron star is tidally disrupted (χBH0.7), we show that the merger consistently produces large amounts of cool (T1MeV), unbound, neutron-rich material (Mej∼0.05M-0.20M). A comparable amount of bound matter is initially divided between a hot disk (Tmax∼15MeV) with typical neutrino luminosity of Lν∼1053erg/s, and a cooler tidal tail. After a short period of rapid protonization of the disk lasting ∼10ms, the accretion disk cools down under the combined effects of the fall-back of cool material from the tail, continued accretion of the hottest material onto the black hole, and neutrino emission. As the temperature decreases, the disk progressively becomes more neutron rich, with dimmer neutrino emission. This cooling process should stop once the viscous heating in the disk (not included in our simulations) balances the cooling. These mergers of neutron star-black hole binaries with black hole masses of MBH∼7M-10M, and black hole spins high enough for the neutron star to disrupt provide promising candidates for the production of short gamma-ray bursts, of bright infrared postmerger signals due to the radioactive decay of unbound material, and of large amounts of r-process nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024026
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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