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Session 8 - Relativistic Astrophysics.
Display session, Wednesday, January 07
Neutron star mergers (NSM) are considered excellent astrophysical laboratories for studies in gravitational wave astronomy, nuclear astrophysics and relativistic astrophysics in dynamic spacetimes. The waveforms from these mergers are expected to be observed by gravitational wave detectors active in the next decade. Post-Newtonian (PN) methods (Lincoln amp; Will 1990), can accurately describe the evolution of the system when the separation between stars is much larger than the stellar radii. However, tidal effects in the last several orbits are likely to be significant requiring a full hydrodynamic evolution of the system. In addition to the Newtonian Euler equations we include the 2.5 PN radiation reaction term as described by Blanchet, Damour and Schaefer (1990). We contrast the role of the dynamical Newtonian tidal instability (Rasio amp; Shapiro 1992) and radiation reaction in the final stages of the merger. We provide a qualitative discussion of the dynamics of coalescence in addition to an accompanying quantitative description including the h_+ and h_\times gravitational wave signals and luminosity from the merger. These simulations are performed in the co-rotating frame. As with earlier work, we compare our results to those of other groups which have performed similar calculations.
Program listing for Wednesday