5 years ago

Neutron-star radius constraints from GW170817 and future detections.

Oliver Just, Hans-Thomas Janka, Nikolaos Stergioulas, Andreas Bauswein

We introduce a new, powerful method to constrain properties of neutron stars (NSs). We show that the total mass of GW170817 provides a reliable constraint on the stellar radius if the merger did not result in a prompt collapse as suggested by the interpretation of associated electromagnetic emission. The radius R_1.6 of nonrotating NSs with a mass of 1.6 M_sun can be constrained to be larger than 10.68_{-0.04}^{+0.15} km, and the radius R_max of the nonrotating maximum mass configuration must be larger than 9.60_{-0.03}^{+0.14} km. We point out that detections of future events will further improve these constraints. Moreover, we show that a future event with a signature of a prompt collapse of the merger remnant will establish even stronger constraints on the NS radius from above and the maximum mass M_max of NSs from above. These constraints are particularly robust because they only require a measurement of the chirp mass and a distinction between prompt and delayed collapse of the merger remnant, which may be inferred from the electromagnetic signal or even from the presence/absence of a ringdown gravitational-wave (GW) signal. This prospect strengthens the case of our novel method of constraining NS properties, which is directly applicable to future GW events with accompanying electromagnetic counterpart observations. We emphasize that this procedure is a new way of constraining NS radii from GW detections independent of existing efforts to infer radius information from the late inspiral phase or postmerger oscillations, and it does not require particularly loud GW events.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1710.06843

DOI: arXiv:1710.06843v3

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