Critical phenomena in neutron stars: II. Head-on collisions

Thorsten Kellerman, Luciano Rezzolla, David Radice

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15 Scopus citations


We consider the head-on collision of equal-mass neutron stars boosted towards each other and we study the behaviour of such systems near the threshold of black-hole formation. In particular, we confirm the previous findings by Jin K J et al (2007 Phys. Rev. Lett 98 131101) that a type I critical phenomenon can be observed by fine-tuning the initial mass of the two neutron stars. At the same time, we argue against the interpretation that the critical solution is not a perturbed spherical star and show instead that the metastable star corresponds to a (perturbed) equilibrium solution on the unstable branch of the equilibrium configurations. As a result, the head-on collision of two neutron stars near the critical threshold can be seen as a transition in the space of configurations from an initial stable solution over to a critical metastable one which can either migrate to a stable solution or collapse to a black hole. The critical exponent for this process shows a fine structure which was already observed in the case of the critical collapse of scalar fields but never before for perfect fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235016
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 7 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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