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LIGO Seminar

Thursday, December 8, 2022
1:00pm to 2:00pm
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Title: Beyond the linear tide: impact of the nonlinear tidal response of neutron stars on gravitational waveforms for binary inspirals

Abstract: Tidal interactions in coalescing binary neutron stars modify the dynamics of the inspiral, and hence imprint a signature on their gravitational-wave (GW) signals in the form of an extra phase shift. We need accurate models for the tidal phase shift in order to constrain the supranuclear equation of state from observations. In previous studies, GW waveform models were typically constructed by treating the tide as a linear response to a perturbing tidal field. In this work, we incorporate nonlinear corrections due to hydrodynamic three- and four-mode interactions and show how they can improve the accuracy and explanatory power of waveform models. We set up and numerically solve the coupled differential equations for the orbit and the modes, and analytically derive solutions of the system's equilibrium configuration. Our analytical solutions agree well with the numerical ones up to the merger and involve only algebraic relations, allowing for fast phase shift and waveform evaluations for different equations of state over a large parameter space. We find that, at Newtonian order, nonlinear fluid effects can enhance the tidal phase shift by  >~ 1 radian at a GW frequency of 1000 Hz, corresponding to a  10−20%  correction to the linear theory. The scale of the additional phase shift near the merger is consistent with the difference between numerical relativity and theoretical predictions that account only for the linear tide. Nonlinear fluid effects are thus important when interpreting the results of numerical relativity, and in the construction of waveform models for current and future GW detectors.

For more information, please contact Ryan Magee by email at [email protected].