Excitation of neutron star normal modes during binary inspiral
As a compact binary inspirals due to the emission of gravitational waves, its orbital period decreases continuously down to approximately 1 ms, its value at coalescence. During the last part of the inspiral, the two stars are close together, and their tidal interactions become strong. Neutron stars have many normal modes (core g-modes, crustal discontinuity modes, shear modes, etc.) whose periods lie in the range (approximately several ms) swept by the orbital period. Some of these modes are resonantly excited by the tidal force. The amount of energy a mode absorbs is proportional to the square of the overlap integral between its displacement field and the tidal force field. For all modes of interest, this overlap is poor, resulting in relatively weak excitation. For the best case, the absorbed energy is only a small fraction (approximately 10^(-6)) of the orbital energy, so the orbital phase shift is too weak to be detected by observations of the gravitational wave signal emitted by the inspiraling binary. However, with displacement amplitudes of excited quadrupole modes ranging up to 0.5% of the stellar radius, the possibility of a detectable electromagnetic signature cannot be dismissed. Both the periods of the modes and the energy they absorb depend quite strongly on the internal structure of the star. Their observation could shed light on the correct high-density equation of state.
© 1994 American Astronomical Society. Received 1993 August 26; accepted 1993 November 12. We are grateful to Lars Bildsten, Eanna Flanagan, Dong Lai, Patrick McDermott, Tod Strohmayer, Hugh Van Horn, and Yanqin Wu for informative conversations. This work was supported by NSF grant AST 89-13664 and NASA grant NAGW2372.
Published - 1994ApJ___426__688R.pdf