Friday, February 9, 2018
2:00 pm
Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium – Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics

TAPIR Seminar

Theory of EM counterparts of neutron star mergers
Kenta Hotokezaka, Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University

Gravitational waves (GWs) from a neutron star merger, GW170817, were discovered by Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The GW signal was followed by electromagnetic (EM) signals including a gamma-ray burst, uv/optical/IR macronova, long lasting non-thermal emission in multi-wavelength ranging from radio to X-ray. In this talk, I first overview the dynamics and mass ejection of neutron star mergers. Then I will talk about theory of EM signals from neutron star mergers and discuss the EM observations of GW170817. I will focus mostly on the r-process macronova and long-lasting synchrotron radiation signals, and the implications of GW170817 to the amount of r-process elements synthesized in the ejecta and the ejecta's structure.  I will also discuss about the budged of r-process elements in the local Universe and show that the overall amount of r-process elements of the Milky Way could have been predominantly produced by mergers, given the rate and mass estimate of GW170817. Finally, I will discuss open issues and future prospects of EM counterparts and the r-process origin.

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