With the first observation of a binary neutron star merger through gravitational waves and light, GW170817, compact binary mergers have now taken the center stage in nuclear astrophysics. They are thought to be one of the main astrophysical sites of production of r-process elements, and merger observations have become a fundamental tool to constrain the properties of matter. Here, we review our current understanding of the dynamics of neutron star mergers in general and of GW170817 in particular.We discuss the physical processes governing the inspiral, merger, and postmerger evolution, and we highlight the connections between these processes, the dynamics, and the multimessenger observables. Finally, we discuss open questions and issues in the field and the need to address them through a combination of better theoretical models and new observations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science|
|State||Published - Oct 19 2020|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics