The merger of two white dwarfs is expected to result in a central fast-rotating core surrounded by a debris disk, in which magnetorotational instabilities give rise to a hot magnetized corona and a magnetized outflow. The dissipation of magnetic energy via reconnection could lead to the acceleration of cosmic-rays (CRs) in the expanding material, which would result in high energy neutrinos. We discuss the possibility of using these neutrino signals as probes of the outflow dynamics, magnetic energy dissipation rate, and CR acceleration efficiency. Importantly, the accompanying high-energy gamma-rays are absorbed within these sources because of the large optical depth, so these neutrino sources can be regarded as hidden cosmic-ray accelerators that are consistent with the non-detection of gamma-rays with Fermi-LAT. While the CR generation rate is highly uncertain, if it reaches , the diffuse neutrino flux could contribute a substantial fraction of the IceCube observations. We also evaluate the prospect of observing individual merger events, which provides a means for testing such sources in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science