Binary Mergers and the Dense Matter Equation of State Abstract

M. Prakash

Binary mergers involving black holes and neutron stars have been proposed as major sources of gravitational waves, r--process nucleosynthesis, and short gamma-ray bursters. In addition, they represent an important, and possibly unique, observable that could distinguish between normal and self--bound neutron stars. These two families of stars have distinctly different mass--radius relationships resulting from their equations of state which can be revealed during their mergers if stable mass transfer ensues. The two cases of gravitational-radiation induced binary mergers: (i) a black hole and a normal neutron star, and (ii) a black hole and a self-bound strange quark matter star will be highlighted. Analysis shows that differences in the evolution of normal neutron stars and strange quark matter stars are significant and could be detected in gravity waves. Both the amplitude and frequencies of the wave pattern are affected. In addition, details of the equation of state for either normal neutron stars or strange quark stars may be learned.

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