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Evolution of the magnetized, neutrino-cooled accretion disk in the aftermath of a black hole-neutron star binary merger

Hossein Nouri, Fatemeh and Duez, Matthew D. and Foucart, Francois and Deaton, M. Brett and Haas, Roland and Haddadi, Milad and Kidder, Lawrence E. and Ott, Christian D. and Pfeiffer, Harald P. and Scheel, Mark A. and Szilagyi, Bela (2018) Evolution of the magnetized, neutrino-cooled accretion disk in the aftermath of a black hole-neutron star binary merger. Physical Review D, 97 (8). Art. no. 083014. ISSN 2470-0010.

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Black hole–torus systems from compact binary mergers are possible engines for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). During the early evolution of the postmerger remnant, the state of the torus is determined by a combination of neutrino cooling and magnetically driven heating processes, so realistic models must include both effects. In this paper, we study the postmerger evolution of a magnetized black hole–neutron star binary system using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) from an initial postmerger state provided by previous numerical relativity simulations. We use a finite-temperature nuclear equation of state and incorporate neutrino effects in a leakage approximation. To achieve the needed accuracy, we introduce improvements to SpEC’s implementation of general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), including the use of cubed-sphere multipatch grids and an improved method for dealing with supersonic accretion flows where primitive variable recovery is difficult. We find that a seed magnetic field triggers a sustained source of heating, but its thermal effects are largely cancelled by the accretion and spreading of the torus from MHD-related angular momentum transport. The neutrino luminosity peaks at the start of the simulation, and then drops significantly over the first 20 ms but in roughly the same way for magnetized and nonmagnetized disks. The heating rate and disk’s luminosity decrease much more slowly thereafter. These features of the evolution are insensitive to grid structure and resolution, formulation of the MHD equations, and seed field strength, although turbulent effects are not fully converged.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Foucart, Francois0000-0003-4617-4738
Ott, Christian D.0000-0003-4993-2055
Additional Information:© 2018 American Physical Society. (Received 19 October 2017; published 30 April 2018) The authors thank Zachariah Etienne, Scott Noble, Vasileios Paschalidis, Jean-Pierre De Villiers, John Hawley, Jose Toni Font, and Hotaka Shiokawa, for helpful discussions and advice over the course of this project. M. D. acknowledges support through NSF Grant No. PHY-1402916. F. H. acknowledges support from the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust at IUCAA, India. F. F. acknowledges support from Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant No. PF4-150122, awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under Contract No. NAS8-03060. H. P. gratefully acknowledges support from the NSERC Canada. L. K. acknowledges support from NSF Grants No. PHY-1306125 and No. AST-1333129 at Cornell, while the authors at Caltech acknowledge support from NSF Grants No. PHY-1404569, No. AST-1333520, No. NSF-1440083, and NSF CAREER Award No. PHY-1151197. Authors at both Cornell and Caltech also thank the Sherman Fairchild Foundation for their support. Computations were performed on the Caltech compute clusters Zwicky and Wheeler, funded by NSF MRI Award No. PHY-0960291 and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation. Computations were also performed on the SDSC cluster Comet under NSF XSEDE allocation TG-PHY990007N.
Group:TAPIR, Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Navajbai Ratan Tata TrustUNSPECIFIED
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF4-150122
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Sherman Fairchild FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180430-101115120
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:86124
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:30 Apr 2018 17:39
Last Modified:30 Apr 2018 17:39

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