results for au:Duez_M in:gr-qc

- Nov 07 2016 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1611.01159v1Neutron star-black hole binaries are among the strongest sources of gravitational waves detectable by current observatories. They can also power bright electromagnetic signals (gamma-ray bursts, kilonovae), and may be a significant source of production of r-process nuclei. A misalignment of the black hole spin with respect to the orbital angular momentum leads to precession of that spin and of the orbital plane, and has a significant effect on the properties of the post-merger remnant and of the material ejected by the merger. We present a first set of simulations of precessing neutron star-black hole mergers using a hot, composition dependent, nuclear-theory based equation of state (DD2). We show that the mass of the remnant and of the dynamical ejecta are broadly consistent with the result of simulations using simpler equations of state, while differences arise when considering the dynamics of the merger and the velocity of the ejecta. We show that the latter can easily be understood from assumptions about the composition of low-density, cold material in the different equations of state, and propose an updated estimate for the ejecta velocity which takes those effects into account. We also present an updated mesh-refinement algorithm which allows us to improve the numerical resolution used to evolve neutron star-black hole mergers.
- Apr 05 2016 gr-qc arXiv:1604.00782v2We present results on the inspiral, merger, and post-merger evolution of a neutron star - neutron star (NSNS) system. Our results are obtained using the hybrid pseudospectral-finite volume Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC). To test our numerical methods, we evolve an equal-mass system for $\approx 22$ orbits before merger. This waveform is the longest waveform obtained from fully general-relativistic simulations for NSNSs to date. Such long (and accurate) numerical waveforms are required to further improve semi-analytical models used in gravitational wave data analysis, for example the effective one body models. We discuss in detail the improvements to SpEC's ability to simulate NSNS mergers, in particular mesh refined grids to better resolve the merger and post-merger phases. We provide a set of consistency checks and compare our results to NSNS merger simulations with the independent BAM code. We find agreement between them, which increases confidence in results obtained with either code. This work paves the way for future studies using long waveforms and more complex microphysical descriptions of neutron star matter in SpEC.
- Extracting the unique information on ultradense nuclear matter from the gravitational waves emitted by merging, neutron-star binaries requires robust theoretical models of the signal. We develop a novel effective-one-body waveform model that includes, for the first time, dynamic (instead of only adiabatic) tides of the neutron star, as well as the merger signal for neutron-star--black-hole binaries. We demonstrate the importance of the dynamic tides by comparing our model against new numerical-relativity simulations of nonspinning neutron-star--black-hole binaries spanning more than 24 gravitational-wave cycles, and to other existing numerical simulations for double neutron-star systems. Furthermore, we derive an effective description that makes explicit the dependence of matter effects on two key parameters: tidal deformability and fundamental oscillation frequency.
- Oct 23 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1510.06398v2Neutron 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, and radio emission. Simulations of these mergers with fully general relativistic codes are critical to understand the merger and post-merger gravitational wave signals and their neutrinos and electromagnetic counterparts. In this paper, we employ the SpEC code to simulate the merger of low-mass neutron star binaries (two $1.2M_\odot$ neutron stars) for a set of three nuclear-theory based, finite temperature equations of state. We show that the frequency peaks of the post-merger gravitational wave signal are in good agreement with predictions obtained from 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 timescale 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. 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.
- Sep 22 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1509.05782v3Gravitational waves from binary neutron star (BNS) and black hole/neutron star (BHNS) inspirals are primary sources for detection by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. The tidal forces acting on the neutron stars induce changes in the phase evolution of the gravitational waveform, and these changes can be used to constrain the nuclear equation of state. Current methods of generating BNS and BHNS waveforms rely on either computationally challenging full 3D hydrodynamical simulations or approximate analytic solutions. We introduce a new method for computing inspiral waveforms for BNS/BHNS systems by adding the post-Newtonian (PN) tidal effects to full numerical simulations of binary black holes (BBHs), effectively replacing the nontidal terms in the PN expansion with BBH results. Comparing a waveform generated with this method against a full hydrodynamical simulation of a BNS inspiral yields a phase difference of $<1$ radian over $\sim 15$ orbits. The numerical phase accuracy required of BNS simulations to measure the accuracy of the method we present here is estimated as a function of the tidal deformability parameter ${\lambda}$.
- Aug 28 2015 gr-qc arXiv:1508.06986v1We present a code to construct initial data for binary neutron star systems in which the stars are rotating. Our code, based on a formalism developed by Tichy, allows for arbitrary rotation axes of the neutron stars and is able to achieve rotation rates near rotational breakup. We compute the neutron star angular momentum through quasi-local angular momentum integrals. When constructing irrotational binary neutron stars, we find a very small residual dimensionless spin of $\sim 2\times 10^{-4}$. Evolutions of rotating neutron star binaries show that the magnitude of the stars' angular momentum is conserved, and that the spin- and orbit-precession of the stars is well described by post-Newtonian approximation. We demonstrate that orbital eccentricity of the binary neutron stars can be controlled to $\sim 0.1\%$. The neutron stars show quasi-normal mode oscillations at an amplitude which increases with the rotation rate of the stars.
- Feb 17 2015 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1502.04146v1We present a first simulation of the post-merger evolution of a black hole-neutron star binary in full general relativity using an energy-integrated general relativistic truncated moment formalism for neutrino transport. We describe our implementation of the moment formalism and important tests of our code, before studying the formation phase of a disk after a black hole-neutron star merger. We use as initial data an existing general relativistic simulation of the merger of a neutron star of 1.4 solar mass with a black hole of 7 solar mass and dimensionless spin a/M=0.8. Comparing with a simpler leakage scheme for the treatment of the neutrinos, we find noticeable differences in the neutron to proton ratio in and around the disk, and in the neutrino luminosity. We find that the electron neutrino luminosity is much lower in the transport simulations, and that the remnant is less neutron-rich. The spatial distribution of the neutrinos is significantly affected by relativistic effects. Over the short timescale evolved, we do not observe purely neutrino-driven outflows. However, a small amount of material (3e-4Msun) is ejected in the polar region during the circularization of the disk. Most of that material is ejected early in the formation of the disk, and is fairly neutron rich. Through r-process nucleosynthesis, that material should produce high-opacity lanthanides in the polar region, and could thus affect the lightcurve of radioactively powered electromagnetic transients. We also show that by the end of the simulation, while the bulk of the disk is neutron-rich, its outer layers have a higher electron fraction. As that material would be the first to be unbound by disk outflows on longer timescales, the changes in Ye experienced during the formation of the disk could have an impact on the nucleosynthesis outputs from neutrino-driven and viscously-driven outflows. [Abridged]
- May 12 2014 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1405.2144v1Dynamical instabilities in protoneutron stars may produce gravitational waves whose observation could shed light on the physics of core-collapse supernovae. When born with sufficient differential rotation, these stars are susceptible to a shear instability (the "low-T/|W| instability"), but such rotation can also amplify magnetic fields to strengths where they have a considerable impact on the dynamics of the stellar matter. Using a new magnetohydrodynamics module for the Spectral Einstein Code, we have simulated a differentially-rotating neutron star in full 3D to study the effects of magnetic fields on this instability. Though strong toroidal fields were predicted to suppress the low-T/|W| instability, we find that they do so only in a small range of field strengths. Below 4e13 G, poloidal seed fields do not wind up fast enough to have an effect before the instability saturates, while above 5e14 G, magnetic instabilities can actually amplify a global quadrupole mode (this threshold may be even lower in reality, as small-scale magnetic instabilities remain difficult to resolve numerically). Thus, the prospects for observing gravitational waves from such systems are not in fact diminished over most of the magnetic parameter space. Additionally, we report that the detailed development of the low-T/|W| instability, including its growth rate, depends strongly on the particular numerical methods used. The high-order methods we employ suggest that growth might be considerably slower than found in some previous simulations.
- May 07 2014 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1405.1121v2We present a first exploration of the results of neutron star-black hole mergers using black hole masses in the most likely range of $7M_\odot-10M_\odot$, 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 ($\chi_{\rm BH}\gtrsim 0.7$), we show that the merger consistently produces large amounts of cool ($T\lesssim 1\,{\rm MeV}$), unbound, neutron-rich material ($M_{\rm ej}\sim 0.05M_\odot-0.20M_\odot$). A comparable amount of bound matter is initially divided between a hot disk ($T_{\rm max}\sim 15\,{\rm MeV}$) with typical neutrino luminosity $L_\nu\sim 10^{53}\,{\rm erg/s}$, and a cooler tidal tail. After a short period of rapid protonization of the disk lasting $\sim 10\,{\rm ms}$, 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 $M_{\rm BH}\sim 7M_\odot-10M_\odot$ 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 post-merger signals due to the radioactive decay of unbound material, and of large amounts of r-process nuclei.
- Jul 30 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.CO arXiv:1307.7685v1We present the first direct comparison of numerical simulations of neutron star-black hole and black hole-black hole mergers in full general relativity. We focus on a configuration with non spinning objects and within the most likely range of mass ratio for neutron star-black hole systems (q=6). In this region of the parameter space, the neutron star is not tidally disrupted prior to merger, and we show that the two types of mergers appear remarkably similar. The effect of the presence of a neutron star on the gravitational wave signal is not only undetectable by the next generation of gravitational wave detectors, but also too small to be measured in the numerical simulations: even the plunge, merger and ringdown signals appear in perfect agreement for both types of binaries. The characteristics of the post-merger remnants are equally similar, with the masses of the final black holes agreeing within dM< 5 10^-4M_BH and their spins within da< 10^-3M_BH. The rate of periastron advance in the mixed binary agrees with previously published binary black hole results, and we use the inspiral waveforms to place constraints on the accuracy of our numerical simulations independent of algorithmic choices made for each type of binary. Overall, our results indicate that non-disrupting neutron star-black hole mergers are exceptionally well modeled by black hole-black hole mergers, and that given the absence of mass ejection, accretion disk formation, or differences in the gravitational wave signals, only electromagnetic precursors could prove the presence of a neutron star in low-spin systems of total mass ~10Msun, at least until the advent of gravitational wave detectors with a sensitivity comparable to that of the proposed Einstein Telescope.
- The Influence of Thermal Pressure on Equilibrium Models of Hypermassive Neutron Star Merger RemnantsJun 19 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1306.4034v2The merger of two neutron stars leaves behind a rapidly spinning hypermassive object whose survival is believed to depend on the maximum mass supported by the nuclear equation of state, angular momentum redistribution by (magneto-)rotational instabilities, and spindown by gravitational waves. The high temperatures (~5-40 MeV) prevailing in the merger remnant may provide thermal pressure support that could increase its maximum mass and, thus, its life on a neutrino-cooling timescale. We investigate the role of thermal pressure support in hypermassive merger remnants by computing sequences of spherically-symmetric and axisymmetric uniformly and differentially rotating equilibrium solutions to the general-relativistic stellar structure equations. Using a set of finite-temperature nuclear equations of state, we find that hot maximum-mass critically spinning configurations generally do not support larger baryonic masses than their cold counterparts. However, subcritically spinning configurations with mean density of less than a few times nuclear saturation density yield a significantly thermally enhanced mass. Even without decreasing the maximum mass, cooling and other forms of energy loss can drive the remnant to an unstable state. We infer secular instability by identifying approximate energy turning points in equilibrium sequences of constant baryonic mass parametrized by maximum density. Energy loss carries the remnant along the direction of decreasing gravitational mass and higher density until instability triggers collapse. Since configurations with more thermal pressure support are less compact and thus begin their evolution at a lower maximum density, they remain stable for longer periods after merger.
- Apr 12 2013 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1304.3384v3Neutrino emission significantly affects the evolution of the accretion tori formed in black hole-neutron star mergers. It removes energy from the disk, alters its composition, and provides a potential power source for a gamma-ray burst. To study these effects, simulations in general relativity with a hot microphysical equation of state and neutrino feedback are needed. We present the first such simulation, using a neutrino leakage scheme for cooling to capture the most essential effects and considering a moderate mass (1.4 M_⊙ neutron star, 5.6 M_⊙ black hole), high spin (black hole J/M^2=0.9) system with the K_0=220 MeV Lattimer-Swesty equation of state. We find that about 0.08 M_⊙ of nuclear matter is ejected from the system, while another 0.3 M_⊙ forms a hot, compact accretion disk. The primary effects of the escaping neutrinos are (i) to make the disk much denser and more compact, (ii) to cause the average electron fraction Y_e of the disk to rise to about 0.2 and then gradually decrease again, and (iii) to gradually cool the disk. The disk is initially hot (T~6 MeV) and luminous in neutrinos (L_\nu~10^54 erg s^-1), but the neutrino luminosity decreases by an order of magnitude over 50 ms of post-merger evolution.
- Feb 27 2013 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1302.6297v2Black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binaries are important sources of gravitational waves for second-generation interferometers, and BHNS mergers are also a proposed engine for short, hard gamma-ray bursts. The behavior of both the spacetime (and thus the emitted gravitational waves) and the neutron star matter in a BHNS merger depend strongly and nonlinearly on the black hole's spin. While there is a significant possibility that astrophysical black holes could have spins that are nearly extremal (i.e. near the theoretical maximum), to date fully relativistic simulations of BHNS binaries have included black-hole spins only up to $S/M^2$=0.9, which corresponds to the black hole having approximately half as much rotational energy as possible, given the black hole's mass. In this paper, we present a new simulation of a BHNS binary with a mass ratio $q=3$ and black-hole spin $S/M^2$=0.97, the highest simulated to date. We find that the black hole's large spin leads to the most massive accretion disk and the largest tidal tail outflow of any fully relativistic BHNS simulations to date, even exceeding the results implied by extrapolating results from simulations with lower black-hole spin. The disk appears to be remarkably stable. We also find that the high black-hole spin persists until shortly before the time of merger; afterwards, both merger and accretion spin down the black hole.
- Dec 20 2012 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1212.4810v2Black hole-neutron star mergers resulting in the disruption of the neutron star and the formation of an accretion disk and/or the ejection of unbound material are prime candidates for the joint detection of gravitational-wave and electromagnetic signals when the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors comes online. However, the disruption of the neutron star and the properties of the post-merger remnant are very sensitive to the parameters of the binary. In this paper, we study the impact of the radius of the neutron star and the alignment of the black hole spin for systems within the range of mass ratio currently deemed most likely for field binaries (M_BH ~ 7 M_NS) and for black hole spins large enough for the neutron star to disrupt (J/M^2=0.9). We find that: (i) In this regime, the merger is particularly sensitive to the radius of the neutron star, with remnant masses varying from 0.3M_NS to 0.1M_NS for changes of only 2 km in the NS radius; (ii) 0.01-0.05M_sun of unbound material can be ejected with kinetic energy >10^51 ergs, a significant increase compared to low mass ratio, low spin binaries. This ejecta could power detectable optical and radio afterglows. (iii) Only a small fraction (<3%) of the Advanced LIGO events in this parameter range have gravitational-wave signals which could offer constraints on the equation of state of the neutron star. (iv) A misaligned black hole spin works against disk formation, with less neutron star material remaining outside of the black hole after merger, and a larger fraction of that material remaining in the tidal tail instead of the forming accretion disk. (v) Large kicks (v>300 km/s) can be given to the final black hole as a result of a precessing BHNS merger, when the disruption of the neutron star occurs just outside or within the innermost stable spherical orbit.
- Nov 08 2011 gr-qc astro-ph.HE arXiv:1111.1677v2General relativistic simulations of black hole-neutron star mergers have currently been limited to low-mass black holes (less than 7 solar mass), even though population synthesis models indicate that a majority of mergers might involve more massive black holes (10 solar mass or more). We present the first general relativistic simulations of black hole-neutron star mergers with 10 solar mass black holes. For massive black holes, the tidal forces acting on the neutron star are usually too weak to disrupt the star before it reaches the innermost stable circular orbit of the black hole. Varying the spin of the black hole in the range a/M = 0.5-0.9, we find that mergers result in the disruption of the star and the formation of a massive accretion disk only for large spins a/M>0.7-0.9. From these results, we obtain updated constraints on the ability of BHNS mergers to be the progenitors of short gamma-ray bursts as a function of the mass and spin of the black hole. We also discuss the dependence of the gravitational wave signal on the black hole parameters, and provide waveforms and spectra from simulations beginning 7-8 orbits before merger.
- Jul 26 2010 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:1007.4203v2The spin of black holes in black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binaries can have a strong influence on the merger dynamics and the postmerger state; a wide variety of spin magnitudes and orientations are expected to occur in nature. In this paper, we report the first simulations in full general relativity of BHNS mergers with misaligned black hole spin. We vary the spin magnitude from a/m=0 to a/m=0.9 for aligned cases, and we vary the misalignment angle from 0 to 80 degrees for a/m=0.5. We restrict our study to 3:1 mass ratio systems and use a simple Gamma-law equation of state. We find that the misalignment angle has a strong effect on the mass of the postmerger accretion disk, but only for angles greater than ~ 40 degrees. Although the disk mass varies significantly with spin magnitude and misalignment angle, we find that all disks have very similar lifetimes ~ 100ms. Their thermal and rotational profiles are also very similar. For a misaligned merger, the disk is tilted with respect to the final black hole's spin axis. This will cause the disk to precess, but on a timescale longer than the accretion time. In all cases, we find promising setups for gamma-ray burst production: the disks are hot, thick, and hyperaccreting, and a baryon-clear region exists above the black hole.
- Dec 19 2009 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:0912.3529v2We review the current status of attempts to numerically model the merger of neutron star-neutron star (NSNS) and black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binary systems, and we describe the understanding of such events that is emerging from these calculations. To accurately model the physics of NSNS and BHNS mergers is a difficult task. It requires solving Einstein's equations for dynamic spacetimes containing black holes. It also requires evolving the hot, supernuclear-density neutron star matter together with the magnetic and radiation fields that can influence the post-merger dynamics. Older studies concentrated on either one or the other of these challenges, but now efforts are being made to model both relativity and microphysics accurately together. These NSNS and BHNS simulations are then used to characterize the gravitational wave signals of such events and to address their potential for generating short-duration gamma ray bursts.
- Dec 19 2009 astro-ph.HE gr-qc arXiv:0912.3528v1The merger dynamics of a black hole-neutron star (BHNS) binary is influenced by the neutron star equation of state (EoS) through the latter's effect on the neutron star's radius and on the character of the mass transfer onto the black hole. We study these effects by simulating a number of BHNS binaries in full general relativity using a mixed pseudospectral/finite difference code. We consider several models of the neutron star matter EoS, including Gamma=2 and Gamma=2.75 polytropes and the nuclear-theory based Shen EoS. For models using the Shen EoS, we consider two limits for the evolution of the composition: source-free advection and instantaneous beta-equilibrium. To focus on EoS effects, we fix the mass ratio to 3:1 and the initial aligned black hole spin to a/m=0.5 for all models. We confirm earlier studies which found that more compact stars create a stronger gravitational wave signal but a smaller postmerger accretion disk. We also vary the EoS while holding the compaction fixed. All mergers are qualitatively similar, but we find signatures of the EoS in the waveform and in the tail and disk structures.
- Apr 06 2009 gr-qc arXiv:0904.0493v1We present numerical simulations of orbiting black holes for around twelve cycles, using a high-order multipatch approach. Unlike some other approaches, the computational speed scales almost perfectly for thousands of processors. Multipatch methods are an alternative to AMR (adaptive mesh refinement), with benefits of simplicity and better scaling for improving the resolution in the wave zone. The results presented here pave the way for multipatch evolutions of black hole-neutron star and neutron star-neutron star binaries, where high resolution grids are needed to resolve details of the matter flow.
- We present a code for solving the coupled Einstein-hydrodynamics equations to evolve relativistic, self-gravitating fluids. The Einstein field equations are solved in generalized harmonic coordinates on one grid using pseudospectral methods, while the fluids are evolved on another grid using shock-capturing finite difference or finite volume techniques. We show that the code accurately evolves equilibrium stars and accretion flows. Then we simulate an equal-mass nonspinning black hole-neutron star binary, evolving through the final four orbits of inspiral, through the merger, to the final stationary black hole. The gravitational waveform can be reliably extracted from the simulation.
- Feb 27 2007 gr-qc arXiv:gr-qc/0702126v1We present a new code for solving the coupled Einstein-hydrodynamics equations to evolve relativistic, self-gravitating fluids. The Einstein field equations are solved on one grid using pseudospectral methods, while the fluids are evolved on another grid by finite differencing. We discuss implementation details, such as the communication between the grids and the treatment of stellar surfaces, and present code tests.
- Hypermassive neutron stars (HMNSs) are equilibrium configurations supported against collapse by rapid differential rotation and likely form as transient remnants of binary neutron star mergers. Though HMNSs are dynamically stable, secular effects such as viscosity or magnetic fields tend to bring HMNSs into uniform rotation and thus lead to collapse. We simulate the evolution of magnetized HMNSs in axisymmetry using codes which solve the Einstein-Maxwell-MHD system of equations. We find that magnetic braking and the magnetorotational instability (MRI) both contribute to the eventual collapse of HMNSs to rotating black holes surrounded by massive, hot accretion tori and collimated magnetic fields. Such hot tori radiate strongly in neutrinos, and the resulting neutrino-antineutrino annihilation could power short-hard GRBs.
- The merger of two neutron stars usually produces a remnant with a mass significantly above the single (nonrotating) neutron star maximum mass. In some cases, the remnant will be stabilized against collapse by rapid, differential rotation. MHD-driven angular momentum transport eventually leads to the collapse of the remnant's core, resulting in a black hole surrounded by a massive accretion torus. Here we present simulations of this process. The plausibility of generating short duration gamma ray bursts through this scenario is discussed.
- The capacity to model magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) flows in dynamical, strongly curved spacetimes significantly extends the reach of numerical relativity in addressing many problems at the forefront of theoretical astrophysics. We have developed and tested an evolution code for the coupled Einstein-Maxwell-MHD equations which combines a BSSN solver with a high resolution shock capturing scheme. As one application, we evolve magnetized, differentially rotating neutron stars under the influence of a small seed magnetic field. Of particular significance is the behavior found for hypermassive neutron stars (HMNSs), which have rest masses greater the mass limit allowed by uniform rotation for a given equation of state. The remnant of a binary neutron star merger is likely to be a HMNS. We find that magnetic braking and the magnetorotational instability lead to the collapse of HMNSs and the formation of rotating black holes surrounded by massive, hot accretion tori and collimated magnetic field lines. Such tori radiate strongly in neutrinos, and the resulting neutrino-antineutrino annihilation (possibly in concert with energy extraction by MHD effects) could provide enough energy to power short-hard gamma-ray bursts. To explore the range of outcomes, we also evolve differentially rotating neutron stars with lower masses and angular momenta than the HMNS models. Instead of collapsing, the non-hypermassive models form nearly uniformly rotating central objects which, in cases with significant angular momentum, are surrounded by massive tori.
- We study the effects of magnetic fields on the evolution of differentially rotating neutron stars, which can form in stellar core collapse or binary neutron star coalescence. Magnetic braking and the magnetorotational instability (MRI) both redistribute angular momentum; the outcome of the evolution depends on the star's mass and spin. Simulations are carried out in axisymmetry using our recently developed codes which integrate the coupled Einstein-Maxwell-MHD equations. For initial data, we consider three categories of differentially rotating, equilibrium configurations, which we label normal, hypermassive and ultraspinning. Hypermassive stars have rest masses exceeding the mass limit for uniform rotation. Ultraspinning stars are not hypermassive, but have angular momentum exceeding the maximum for uniform rotation at the same rest mass. We show that a normal star will evolve to a uniformly rotating equilibrium configuration. An ultraspinning star evolves to an equilibrium state consisting of a nearly uniformly rotating central core, surrounded by a differentially rotating torus with constant angular velocity along magnetic field lines, so that differential rotation ceases to wind the magnetic field. In addition, the final state is stable against the MRI, although it has differential rotation. For a hypermassive neutron star, the MHD-driven angular momentum transport leads to catastrophic collapse of the core. The resulting rotating black hole is surrounded by a hot, massive, magnetized torus undergoing quasistationary accretion, and a magnetic field collimated along the spin axis--a promising candidate for the central engine of a short gamma-ray burst. (Abridged)
- A hypermassive neutron star (HMNS) is a possible transient formed after the merger of a neutron star binary. In the latest magnetohydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity, we find that a magnetized HMNS undergoes `delayed' collapse to a rotating black hole (BH) as a result of angular momentum transport via magnetic braking and the magnetorotational instability. The outcome is a BH surrounded by a massive, hot torus with a collimated magnetic field. The torus accretes onto the BH at a quasi-steady accretion rate ~10 solar mass/s; the lifetime of the torus is ~10 ms. The torus has a temperature ∼10^12 K, leading to copious neutrino-antineutrino thermal radiation. Therefore, the collapse of an HMNS is a promising scenario for generating short-duration gamma-ray bursts and an accompanying burst of gravitational waves and neutrinos.
- 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.
- We consider a gravitational wave oscillating in an initially homogeneous, magnetized fluid. The fluid is perfectly conducting and isentropic, and the magnetic field is initially uniform. We find analytic solutions for the case in which the gravitational wave is linear and unaffected by the background fluid and field. Our solutions show how gravitational waves can excite three magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) modes in the fluid: Alfven waves, and both fast and slow magnetosonic waves. Our analytic solutions are particularly useful for testing numerical codes designed to treat general relativistic MHD in dynamical spacetimes, as we demonstrate in a companion paper.
- Many problems at the forefront of theoretical astrophysics require the treatment of magnetized fluids in dynamical, strongly curved spacetimes. Such problems include the origin of gamma-ray bursts, magnetic braking of differential rotation in nascent neutron stars arising from stellar core collapse or binary neutron star merger, the formation of jets and magnetized disks around newborn black holes, etc. To model these phenomena, all of which involve both general relativity (GR) and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), we have developed a GRMHD code capable of evolving MHD fluids in dynamical spacetimes. Our code solves the Einstein-Maxwell-MHD system of coupled equations in axisymmetry and in full 3+1 dimensions. We evolve the metric by integrating the BSSN equations, and use a conservative, shock-capturing scheme to evolve the MHD equations. Our code gives accurate results in standard MHD code-test problems, including magnetized shocks and magnetized Bondi flow. To test our code's ability to evolve the MHD equations in a dynamical spacetime, we study the perturbations of a homogeneous, magnetized fluid excited by a gravitational plane wave, and we find good agreement between the analytic and numerical solutions.
- Viscosity and magnetic fields drive differentially rotating stars toward uniform rotation, which has important consequences in many astrophysical contexts. For example, merging binary neutron stars can form a "hypermassive" remnant, i.e. a differentially rotating star with a mass greater than the maximum allowed by uniform rotation. The removal of the centrifugal support provided by differential rotation can lead to delayed collapse of the remnant to a black hole, accompanied by a burst of gravitational radiation. Both magnetic fields and viscosity alter the structure of differentially rotating stars on secular timescales, making numerical tracking of the evolution difficult. Here, we present the first simulations of rapidly rotating stars with shear viscosity in full general relativity. We self-consistently include viscosity in our relativistic hydrodynamic code to solve the relativistic Navier-Stokes equations both in axisymmetry and in full 3+1 dimensions. In axisymmetry, we follow secular evolution with high resolution over dozens of rotation periods (thousands of M). We find that viscosity operating in a hypermassive star generically leads to the formation of a compact, uniformly rotating core surrounded by a low-density disk. These uniformly rotating cores are often, but not always, unstable to gravitational collapse. In the unstable cases, we follow the collapse and determine the mass and the spin of the final black hole and ambient disk. In all cases studied, the rest mass of the resulting disk is found to be 10-20% of the original star, whether surrounding a uniformly rotating core or a rotating black hole. This study foreshadows more detailed, future simulations of secular processes, including magnetic effects, in relativistic stars.
- We present a numerical code designed to study astrophysical phenomena involving dynamical spacetimes containing black holes in the presence of relativistic hydrodynamic matter. We present evolutions of the collapse of a fluid star from the onset of collapse to the settling of the resulting black hole to a final stationary state. In order to evolve stably after the black hole forms, we excise a region inside the hole before a singularity is encountered. This excision region is introduced after the appearance of an apparent horizon, but while a significant amount of matter remains outside the hole. We test our code by evolving accurately a vacuum Schwarzschild black hole, a relativistic Bondi accretion flow onto a black hole, Oppenheimer-Snyder dust collapse, and the collapse of nonrotating and rotating stars. These systems are tracked reliably for hundreds of M following excision, where M is the mass of the black hole. We perform these tests both in axisymmetry and in full 3+1 dimensions. We then apply our code to study the effect of the stellar spin parameter J/M^2 on the final outcome of gravitational collapse of rapidly rotating n = 1 polytropes. We find that a black hole forms only if J/M^2<1, in agreement with previous simulations. When J/M^2>1, the collapsing star forms a torus which fragments into nonaxisymmetric clumps, capable of generating appreciable ``splash'' gravitational radiation.
- We determine the innermost stable circular orbit (ISCO) of binary neutron stars (BNSs) by performing dynamical simulations in full general relativity. Evolving quasiequilibrium (QE) binaries that begin at different separations, we bracket the location of the ISCO by distinguishing stable circular orbits from unstable plunges. We study Gamma=2 polytropes of varying compactions in both corotational and irrotational equal-mass binaries. For corotatonal binaries we find an ISCO orbital angular frequency somewhat smaller than that determined by applying turning-point methods to QE initial data. For the irrotational binaries the initial data sequences terminate before reaching a turning point, but we find that the ISCO frequency is reached prior to the termination point. Our findings suggest that the ISCO frequency varies with compaction but does not depend strongly on the stellar spin. Since the observed gravitational wave signal undergoes a transition from a nearly periodic ``chirp'' to a burst at roughly twice the ISCO frequency, the measurement of its value by laser interferometers (e.g LIGO) will be important for determining some of the physical properites of the underlying stars
- We solve Einstein's field equations coupled to relativistic hydrodynamics in full 3+1 general relativity to evolve astrophysical systems characterized by strong gravitational fields. We model rotating, collapsing and binary stars by idealized polytropic equations of state, with neutron stars as the main application. Our scheme is based on the BSSN formulation of the field equations. We assume adiabatic flow, but allow for the formation of shocks. We determine the appearance of black holes by means of an apparent horizon finder. We introduce several new techniques for integrating the coupled Einstein-hydrodynamics system. For example, we choose our fluid variables so that they can be evolved without employing an artificial atmosphere. We also demonstrate the utility of working in a rotating coordinate system for some problems. We use rotating stars to experiment with several gauge choices for the lapse function and shift vector, and find some choices to be superior to others. We demonstrate the ability of our code to follow a rotating star that collapses from large radius to a black hole. Finally, we exploit rotating coordinates to evolve a corotating binary neutron star system in a quasi-equilibrium circular orbit for more than two orbital periods.
- We model the adiabatic inspiral of relativistic binary neutron stars in a quasi-equilibrium (QE) approximation, and compute the gravitational wavetrain from the late phase of the inspiral. We compare corotational and irrotational sequences and find a significant difference in the inspiral rate, which is almost entirely caused by differences in the binding energy. We also compare our results with those of a point-mass post-Newtonian calculation. We illustrate how the late inspiral wavetrain computed with our QE numerical scheme can be matched to the subsequent plunge and merger waveform calculated with a fully relativistic hydrodynamics code.
- We present a new method for generating the nonlinear gravitational wavetrain from the late inspiral (pre-coalescence) phase of a binary neutron star system by means of a numerical evolution calculation in full general relativity. In a prototype calculation, we produce 214 wave cycles from corotating polytropes, representing the final part of the inspiral phase prior to reaching the ISCO. Our method is based on the inequality that the orbital decay timescale due to gravitational radiation is much longer than an orbital period and the approximation that gravitational radiation has little effect on the structure of the stars. We employ quasi-equilibrium sequences of binaries in circular orbit for the matter source in our field evolution code. We compute the gravity-wave energy flux, and, from this, the inspiral rate, at a discrete set of binary separations. From these data, we construct the gravitational waveform as a continuous wavetrain. Finally, we discuss the limitations of our current calculation, planned improvements, and potential applications of our method to other inspiral scenarios.
- We improve and extend Shapiro's model of a relativistic, compact object which is stable in isolation but is driven dynamically unstable by the tidal field of a binary companion. Our compact object consists of a dense swarm of test particles moving in randomly-oriented, initially circular, relativistic orbits about a nonrotating black hole. The binary companion is a distant, slowly inspiraling point mass. The tidal field of the companion is treated as a small perturbation on the background Schwarzschild geometry near the hole; the resulting metric is determined by solving the perturbation equations of Regge and Wheeler and Zerilli in the quasi-static limit. The perturbed spacetime supports Bekenstein's conjecture that the horizon area of a near-equilibrium black hole is an adiabatic invariant. We follow the evolution of the system and confirm that gravitational collapse can be induced in a compact collisionless cluster by the tidal field of a binary companion.