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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The initial condition problem for a binary neutron star system requires a Poisson equation solver for the velocity potential with a Neumann-like boundary condition on the surface of the star. Difficulties that arise in this boundary value problem are: (a) the boundary is not known a priori , but constitutes part of the solution of the problem; (b) various terms become singular at the boundary. In this work, we present a new method to solve the fluid Poisson equation for irrotational/spinning binary neutron stars. The advantage of the new method is that it does not require complex fluid surface fitted coordinates and it can be implemented in a Cartesian grid, which is a standard choice in numerical relativity calculations. This is accomplished by employing the source term method proposed by Towers, where the boundary condition is treated as a jump condition and is incorporated as additional source terms in the Poisson equation, which is then solved iteratively. The issue of singular terms caused by vanishing density on the surface is resolved with an additional separation that shifts the computation boundary to the interior of the star. We present two-dimensional tests to show the convergence of the source term method,more »and we further apply this solver to a realistic three-dimensional binary neutron star problem. By comparing our solution with the one coming from the initial data solver cocal, we demonstrate agreement to approximately 1%. Our method can be used in other problems with non-smooth solutions like in magnetized neutron stars.« less
  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Neutron stars (NSs) are extraordinary not only because they are the densest form of matter in the visible Universe but also because they can generate magnetic fields ten orders of magnitude larger than those currently constructed on earth. The combination of extreme gravity with the enormous electromagnetic (EM) fields gives rise to spectacular phenomena like those observed on August 2017 with the merger of a binary neutron star system, an event that generated a gravitational wave (GW) signal, a short γ-ray burst (sGRB), and a kilonova. This event serves as the highlight so far of the era of multimessenger astronomy. In this review, we present the current state of our theoretical understanding of compact binary mergers containing NSs as gleaned from the latest general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations. Such mergers can lead to events like the one on August 2017, GW170817, and its EM counterparts, GRB 170817 and AT 2017gfo. In addition to exploring the GW emission from binary black hole-neutron star and neutron star-neutron star mergers, we also focus on their counterpart EM signals. In particular, we are interested in identifying the conditions under which a relativistic jet can be launched following these mergers. Such a jet is an essentialmore »feature of most sGRB models and provides the main conduit of energy from the central object to the outer radiation regions. Jet properties, including their lifetimes and Poynting luminosities, the effects of the initial magnetic field geometries and spins of the coalescing NSs, as well as their governing equation of state, are discussed. Lastly, we present our current understanding of how the Blandford-Znajek mechanism arises from merger remnants as the trigger for launching jets, if, when and how a horizon is necessary for this mechanism, and the possibility that it can turn on in magnetized neutron ergostars, which contain ergoregions, but no horizons.« less
  5. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We revisit Bondi accretion – steady-state, adiabatic, spherical gas flow on to a Schwarzschild black hole at rest in an asymptotically homogeneous medium – for stiff polytropic equations of state (EOSs) with adiabatic indices Γ > 5/3. A general relativistic treatment is required to determine their accretion rates, for which we provide exact expressions. We discuss several qualitative differences between results for soft and stiff EOSs – including the appearance of a minimum steady-state accretion rate for EOSs with Γ ≥ 5/3 – and explore limiting cases in order to examine these differences. As an example, we highlight results for Γ = 2, which is often used in numerical simulations to model the EOS of neutron stars. We also discuss a special case with this index, the ultrarelativistic ‘causal’ EOS, P = ρ. The latter serves as a useful limit for the still undetermined neutron star EOS above nuclear density. The results are useful, for example, to estimate the accretion rate on to a mini-black hole residing at the centre of a neutron star.