Dynamical mass ejection from binary neutron star mergers

David Radice, Filippo Galeazzi, Jonas Lippuner, Luke F. Roberts, Christian D. Ott, Luciano Rezzolla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present fully general-relativistic simulations of binary neutron star mergers with a temperature and composition dependent nuclear equation of state. We study the dynamical mass ejection from both quasi-circular and dynamical-capture eccentric mergers. We systematically vary the level of our treatment of the microphysics to isolate the effects of neutrino cooling and heating and we compute the nucleosynthetic yields of the ejecta. We find that eccentric binaries can eject significantly more material than quasi-circular binaries and generate bright infrared and radio emission. In all our simulations the outflow is composed of a combination of tidally- and shock-driven ejecta, mostly distributed over a broad ~60° angle from the orbital plane, and, to a lesser extent, by thermally driven winds at high latitudes. Ejecta from eccentric mergers are typically more neutron rich than those of quasi-circular mergers. We find neutrino cooling and heating to affect, quantitatively and qualitatively, composition, morphology, and total mass of the outflows. This is also reflected in the infrared and radio signatures of the binary. The final nucleosynthetic yields of the ejecta are robust and insensitive to input physics or merger type in the regions of the second and third r-process peaks. The yields for elements on the first peak vary between our simulations, but none of our models is able to explain the Solar abundances of first-peak elements without invoking additional first-peak contributions from either neutrino and viscously-driven winds operating on longer time-scales after the mergers, or from core-collapse supernovae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3255-3271
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume460
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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