Physics at Virginia

"Next-Generation Black Hole and Neutron Star Collision Simulations"

Zachariah Etienne , University of Idaho
[Host: Alexander Grant]

Perhaps the most significant astronomical discovery of our lifetimes, code-named GW170817, involved the collision of two neutron stars. The collision was detected both by gravitational wave observatories, and traditional electromagnetic telescopes. As neutron stars are made of the densest form of matter in our current Universe, this single "multimessenger" event was a watershed moment in our understanding as to how matter and gravity behave at their most extreme, far beyond what we can study in laboratories on Earth. For the most part, we compare observations against theoretical models to extract science from events like this. Unfortunately, these theoretical models are severely limited both in quality and quantity, leading to a critical need to improve them. Such improvements pose a key challenge to computational astrophysics, as our most detailed models require expensive supercomputer simulations that generate full, non-perturbative solutions of the general relativistic field equations (numerical relativity). After a gentle introduction to multimessenger astrophysics and the challenges associated with multimessenger source modeling, I will outline a new approach aimed at greatly reducing the cost of these simulations. With the reduced cost comes the potential to both perform colliding black hole simulations on the consumer-grade desktop computer, as well as add unprecedented levels of physical realism to colliding neutron star simulations on supercomputers.

Gravity Seminar
Monday, February 13, 2023
1:30 PM
Physics, Room Zoom
Note special room.

Zoom link: https://virginia.zoom.us/j/99508589926?pwd=TUFNMDJZMjZRUTJnaFd3TDgxNi9KZz09

Meeting ID: 995 0858 9926

Password: 441596

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