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      Quasi-universal properties of neutron star mergers

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          Abstract

          Binary neutron star mergers are investigated using nonlinear 3+1 numerical relativity simulations and the analytical effective-one-body (EOB) model. The EOB model predicts quasi-universal relations between the mass-rescaled gravitational wave frequency and the binding energy at the moment of merger, and certain dimensionless binary tidal coupling constants depending on the stars Love numbers, compactnesses and the binary mass ratio. These relations are quasi-universal in the sense that, for a given value of the tidal coupling constant, they depend significantly neither on the equation of state nor on the mass ratio, though they do depend on stars spins. The spin dependence is approximately linear for small spins aligned with the orbital angular momentum. The quasi-universality is a property of the conservative dynamics, and emerges as the binary interaction becomes tidally dominated. This analytical prediction is qualitatively consistent with new, multi-orbit numerical relativity results for the relevant case of equal-mass irrotational binaries. Universal relations are thus expected to characterize neutron star mergers dynamics. In the context of gravitational wave astronomy, these universal relations may be used to constrain the neutron star equation of state using waveforms that model the merger accurately.

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          I-Love-Q

          Neutron stars and quark stars are not only characterized by their mass and radius, but also by how fast they spin, through their moment of inertia, and how much they can be deformed, through their Love number and quadrupole moment. These depend sensitively on the star's internal structure, and thus on unknown nuclear physics. We find universal relations between the moment of inertia, the Love number and the quadrupole moment that are independent of the neutron star's and quark star's internal structure. These can be used to learn about the deformability of these compact objects through observations of the moment of inertia, break degeneracies in gravitational wave detection to measure spin in binary inspirals and test General Relativity in a nuclear-structure independent fashion.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            1402.6244

            General relativity & Quantum cosmology

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