How loud are neutron star mergers?

Sebastiano Bernuzzi, David Radice, Christian D. Ott, Luke F. Roberts, Philipp Mösta, Filippo Galeazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We present results from the first large parameter study of neutron star mergers using fully general relativistic simulations with finite-temperature microphysical equations of state and neutrino cooling. We consider equal and unequal-mass binaries drawn from the galactic population and simulate each binary with three different equations of state. Our focus is on the emission of energy and angular momentum in gravitational waves in the postmerger phase. We find that the emitted gravitational-wave energy in the first ∼10 ms of the life of the resulting hypermassive neutron star (HMNS) is about twice the energy emitted over the entire inspiral history of the binary. The total radiated energy per binary mass is comparable to or larger than that of nonspinning black hole inspiral-mergers. About 0.8-2.5% of the binary mass-energy is emitted at kHz frequencies in the early HMNS evolution. We find a clear dependence of the postmerger gravitational wave emission on binary configuration and equation of state and show that it can be encoded as a broad function of the binary tidal coupling constant κ2T. Our results also demonstrate that the dimensionless spin of black holes resulting from subsequent HMNS collapse are limited to 0.7-0.8. This may significantly impact the neutrino pair annihilation mechanism for powering short gamma-ray bursts (sGRB).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024023
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 11 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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