Tuesday, October 6, 2015
4:00 pm
West Bridge 351 (LIGO Science Conference Room) – Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics, West

Gravitational-Wave Research Seminar

Electromagnetic counterparts of neutron star mergers and the origin of heavy elements
Kenta Hotokezaka, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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.

Contact Jonah Kanner jkanner@caltech.edu
For more information see CaJAGWR Home Page
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