Gravitational-Wave Research Seminar
In addition to producing a strong gravitational-wave signal and a short gamma-ray burst (GRB), neutron star mergers eject significant masses at significant kinetic energies. Such a mass ejection produces a large variety of electromagnetic signatures including a macronova, also called a kilonova, and long-lasting radio flare. I show dynamical mass ejections computed with a numerical-relativity simulation and its dependence on the binary parameters. Based on the ejecta we obtained, we perform a radiative transfer simulation of macronovae. The expected light curves are faint in blue bands and bright in red - infrared bands. Remarkably, late time excesses after GRB 130603B and GRB 060614 are consistent with the calculated light curves. I will also show expected radio flares after merger. Finally, I will discuss the abundance of short-lived 244 plutonium in the present day and the early solar system. Both experimental data are consistently explained under the assumption that neutron star mergers are the origin of heavy r-process elements.