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Monte Carlo Neutrino Transport Through Remnant Disks from Neutron Star Mergers

Richers, Sherwood and Kasen, Daniel and O'Connor, Evan and Fernández, Rodrigo and Ott, Christian D. (2015) Monte Carlo Neutrino Transport Through Remnant Disks from Neutron Star Mergers. Astrophysical Journal, 813 (1). Art. No. 38. ISSN 0004-637X.

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We present Sedonu, a new open source, steady-state, special relativistic Monte Carlo (MC) neutrino transport code, available at The code calculates the energy- and angle-dependent neutrino distribution function on fluid backgrounds of any number of spatial dimensions, calculates the rates of change of fluid internal energy and electron fraction, and solves for the equilibrium fluid temperature and electron fraction. We apply this method to snapshots from two-dimensional simulations of accretion disks left behind by binary neutron star mergers, varying the input physics and comparing to the results obtained with a leakage scheme for the cases of a central black hole and a central hypermassive neutron star. Neutrinos are guided away from the densest regions of the disk and escape preferentially around 45° from the equatorial plane. Neutrino heating is strengthened by MC transport a few scale heights above the disk midplane near the innermost stable circular orbit, potentially leading to a stronger neutrino-driven wind. Neutrino cooling in the dense midplane of the disk is stronger when using MC transport, leading to a globally higher cooling rate by a factor of a few and a larger leptonization rate by an order of magnitude. We calculate neutrino pair annihilation rates and estimate that an energy of 2.8 × 10^(46) erg is deposited within 45° of the symmetry axis over 300 ms when a central BH is present. Similarly, 1.9 × 10^(48) erg is deposited over 3 s when an HMNS sits at the center, but neither estimate is likely to be sufficient to drive a gamma-ray burst jet.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Richers, Sherwood0000-0001-5031-6829
Ott, Christian D.0000-0003-4993-2055
Additional Information:© 2015. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 July 13. Accepted 2015 September 14. Published 2015 October 26. We thank A. Burrows, M. Duez, F. Foucart, L. Roberts, J. Lippuner, E. Murchikova, and T. Urbatsch for helpful discussions and Rollin Thomas for an interface to the Lua library. SR is supported by a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship under grant number DE-FG02-97ER25308. S.R. and C.D.O. acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation under awards AST-1205732, AST-1333520, and PHY-1151197, by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, and by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Institute for Geophysics, Planetary Physics and Signatures. E.O. acknowledges support from NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant #51344.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. R.F. acknowledges support from the University of California Office of the President, and from NSF award AST-1206097. This research used computing and storage resources (repo m2058) provided by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. Parts of the computations were also performed on the Caltech compute cluster Zwicky (NSF MRI-R2 award PHY-0960291), on the NSF XSEDE network under allocation TG-PHY100033, and on NSF/NCSA Blue Waters under NSF PRAC award ACI-1440083.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-97ER25308
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble Fellowship51344.001-A
NASANAS 5-26555
University of California Office of the PresidentUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150803-071008836
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Official Citation:Sherwood Richers et al 2015 ApJ 813 38
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59146
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:05 Aug 2015 23:32
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 08:43

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