Learning about Neutron-rich Matter with Gravitational Waves

Prof. Jocelyn Read (CSU Fullerton)
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 11:00am

Astronomical observations of neutron stars inform our understanding of dense matter at the highest densities.  Already, we have used gravitational-wave data from GW170817 - the first signal from a neutron-star coalescence - to constrain the equation of state  of dense matter in neutron stars. More recently, the new heavy neutron-star merger GW190425 has indicated that the gravitational-wave population may include systems not previously observed as galactic binaries. As the mass of the components increases, higher densities of neutron-star matter play a role in the orbital dynamics.  I will discuss current methods being used to explore the effect of tidal interactions on the neutron-star coalescence and then translating tidal information from the signal into other properties of the component stars. I will discuss how these results fit with other neutron-star observations, outline prospects of learning about matter in the current Advanced-detector era, and extrapolate the potential next-generation gravitational-wave observatories have to map the phase diagram of dense neutron-rich matter.

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