Numerical simulations of neutron stars and black holes 2
The era of multimessenger astronomy with gravitational waves has been inaugurated with the extraordinary detection of the collision between two neutron stars. These observations have started to revolutionize the understanding of short gamma-ray bursts, of the physics of neutron stars and of the origin of the heavy elements. However, there are many questions that need to be addressed, starting with the fate of the binary after merger. Moreover, there is tension between extant light curve models of the UV/optical/infrared counterpart and results from numerical relativity simulations.
We will perform neutron star merger simulations with two different codes at different resolutions to study their outcomes and electromagnetic signatures. Similarly, gravitational waves provide a new observational channel to probe one of the most intriguing problems in modern physics — namely finding a “theory of everything” combining gravity and quantum physics in a consistent way — by giving unique access to the nonlinear regime of gravity that unfolds during the collision of black holes.
Despite its success in astrophysics and its stronghold against increasingly stringent tests, Einstein's general relativity is not a viable theory of quantum gravity as it breaks down at high energy scales. We wish to explore black hole mergers in alternative theories of relativity focusing on scalar Gauss_Bonnet gravity that contains higher curvature terms coupled to a scalar field, that appear naturally in the low-energy limit of quantum gravity paradigms.