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  1. Abstract

    We present LEGWORK (LISA Evolution and Gravitational Wave Orbit Kit), an open-source Python package for making predictions about stellar-origin gravitational-wave sources and their detectability in LISA or other space-based gravitational-wave detectors. LEGWORK can be used to evolve the orbits of sources due to gravitational-wave emission, calculate gravitational-wave strains (using post-Newtonian approximations), compute signal-to-noise ratios, and visualize the results. It can be applied to a variety of potential sources, including binaries consisting of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. Although we focus on double compact objects, in principle LEGWORK can be used for any system with a user-specified orbital evolution, such as those affected by a third object or gas drag. We optimized the package to make it efficient for use in population studies, which can contain tens of millions of sources. This paper describes the package and presents several potential use cases. We explain in detail the derivations of the expressions behind the package as well as identify and clarify some discrepancies currently present in the literature. We hope that LEGWORK will enable and accelerate future studies triggered by the rapidly growing interest in gravitational-wave sources.

  2. Abstract

    Future searches for gravitational waves from space will be sensitive to double compact objects in our Milky Way. We present new simulations of the populations of double black holes (BHBHs), BH neutron stars (BHNSs), and double neutron stars (NSNSs) that will be detectable by the planned space-based gravitational-wave detector called Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). For our estimates, we use an empirically informed model of the metallicity-dependent star formation history of the Milky Way. We populate it using an extensive suite of binary population-synthesis predictions for varying assumptions relating to mass transfer, common-envelope, supernova kicks, remnant masses, and wind mass-loss physics. For a 4(10) yr LISA mission, we predict between 30–370(50–550) detections over these variations, out of which 6–154 (9–238) are BHBHs, 2–198 (3–289) are BHNSs, and 3–35 (4–57) are NSNSs. We expect that about 50% (60%) can be distinguished from double white dwarf sources based on their mass or eccentricity and localization. Specifically, for about 10% (15%), we expect to be able to determine chirp masses better than 10%. For 13% (13%), we expect sky-localizations better than 1°. We discuss how the variations in the physics assumptions alter the distribution of properties of the detectable systems, even whenmore »the detection rates are unchanged. We further discuss the possibility of multimessenger observations of pulsar populations with the Square Kilometre Array and assess the benefits of extending the LISA mission.

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    The progenitor systems and explosion mechanism of Type Ia supernovae are still unknown. Currently favoured progenitors include double-degenerate systems consisting of two carbon-oxygen white dwarfs with thin helium shells. In the double-detonation scenario, violent accretion leads to a helium detonation on the more massive primary white dwarf that turns into a carbon detonation in its core and explodes it. We investigate the fate of the secondary white dwarf, focusing on changes of the ejecta and observables of the explosion if the secondary explodes as well rather than survives. We simulate a binary system of a $1.05\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ and a $0.7\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ carbon-oxygen white dwarf with $0.03\, \mathrm{M_\odot }$ helium shells each. We follow the system self-consistently from inspiral to ignition, through the explosion, to synthetic observables. We confirm that the primary white dwarf explodes self-consistently. The helium detonation around the secondary white dwarf, however, fails to ignite a carbon detonation. We restart the simulation igniting the carbon detonation in the secondary white dwarf by hand and compare the ejecta and observables of both explosions. We find that the outer ejecta at $v~\gt ~15\, 000$ km s−1 are indistinguishable. Light curves and spectra are very similar until $\sim ~40more »\ \mathrm{d}$ after explosion and the ejecta are much more spherical than violent merger models. The inner ejecta differ significantly slowing down the decline rate of the bolometric light curve after maximum of the model with a secondary explosion by ∼20 per cent. We expect future synthetic 3D nebular spectra to confirm or rule out either model.

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  4. Abstract

    Gravitational-wave detectors are starting to reveal the redshift evolution of the binary black hole (BBH) merger rate,RBBH(z). We make predictions forRBBH(z) as a function of black hole mass for systems originating from isolated binaries. To this end, we investigate correlations between the delay time and black hole mass by means of the suite of binary population synthesis simulations,COMPAS. We distinguish two channels: the common envelope (CE), and the stable Roche-lobe overflow (RLOF) channel, characterized by whether the system has experienced a common envelope or not. We find that the CE channel preferentially produces BHs with masses below about 30Mand short delay times (tdelay≲ 1 Gyr), while the stable RLOF channel primarily forms systems with BH masses above 30Mand long delay times (tdelay≳ 1 Gyr). We provide a new fit for the metallicity-dependent specific star formation rate density based on the Illustris TNG simulations, and use this to convert the delay time distributions into a prediction ofRBBH(z). This leads to a distinct redshift evolution ofRBBH(z) for high and low primary BH masses. We furthermore find that, at high redshift,RBBH(z) is dominated by the CE channel, while at low redshift, it contains a large contribution (∼40%) from the stable RLOF channel.more »Our results predict that, for increasing redshifts, BBHs with component masses above 30Mwill become increasingly scarce relative to less massive BBH systems. Evidence of this distinct evolution ofRBBH(z) for different BH masses can be tested with future detectors.

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  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 31, 2023
  6. Abstract

    Nuclear astrophysics is a field at the intersection of nuclear physics and astrophysics, which seeks to understand the nuclear engines of astronomical objects and the origin of the chemical elements. This white paper summarizes progress and status of the field, the new open questions that have emerged, and the tremendous scientific opportunities that have opened up with major advances in capabilities across an ever growing number of disciplines and subfields that need to be integrated. We take a holistic view of the field discussing the unique challenges and opportunities in nuclear astrophysics in regards to science, diversity, education, and the interdisciplinarity and breadth of the field. Clearly nuclear astrophysics is a dynamic field with a bright future that is entering a new era of discovery opportunities.