WoU-MMA: High-Energy Emission from Neutron Star Mergers

Project: Research project

Project Details


The detections of the collision of two neutron stars by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has ushered in the era of multimessenger astronomy. Subsequent observations of gamma rays and X-rays have provided additional information about these events. This project will model these events using computer simulations to connect high-energy emissions for binary neutron star mergers with detailed physics of the events. The project will also create summer research opportunities for six undergraduate students from the California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) and Cal-Bridge programs. The computational tools developed in this project will be made publicly available. This award advances the goals of the Windows on the Universe Big Idea.

The project will perform numerical relativity simulations of binary neutron star mergers including all of the physics necessary to predict and interpret high-energy emission for these events: general relativistic gravity, resistive magnetohydrodynamics with a sub grid model for small-scale turbulent dynamo action, and neutrino emission and absorption. This simulations will be followed by detailed microphysical calculations of the production of high-energy photons and neutrinos, which will enable the joint interpretation of gravitational wave, thermal and non-thermal electromagnetic, and high energy neutrinos from merging neutron stars. As part of this project, the team will develop a new open source general-relativistic resistive MHD solver. In addition to the support of six undergraduates from CAMPARE and Cal-Bridge, the simulation data and the computational tools generated in this project will be made publicly available.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date9/1/218/31/24


  • National Science Foundation: $478,283.00


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