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Astronomy Colloquium: "Variety in black hole-neutron star merger outcomes"

Event Type
Department of Astronomy
Astronomy 134
Nov 19, 2013   4:00 - 5:00 pm  
Matthew Duez, Washington State University
Originating Calendar
Astronomy Colloquium Speaker Calendar

The outcome of a black hole-neutron star binary merger can depend

on the the unknown details of the neutron star equation of state

as well as the premerger masses and spins.  Some of the nuclear

matter can form a hot, neutrino-dominated accretion flow onto the

black hole--an intrinsically interesting extreme of accretion physics

and also a promising engine for a short-duration gamma ray burst.

Meanwhile, the tidal tail and disk winds can produce outflows with

their own interesting evolution and possibility for detection as a

kilonova or radio afterglow.  In this talk, I will present numerical

simulations of black hole-neutron star binaries carried out with the

Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC); simulations include general relativity,

a nuclear theory-based equation of state, and approximate effects of

neutrino radiation.  We cover a range of binary types, but give most

attention to moderate black hole mass, high black hole spin systems.

We find that a wide variety of post-merger outcomes is possible,

depending on the masses and spins:  disk-dominated, ejecta-dominated,

or mixed.  The early accretion disk also can have a variety of behaviors

and levels of neutrino luminosity.  I will also remark on applications of

our findings to the interpretation of future multi-messenger detections of these events.

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