Binary neutron star mergers and short gamma-ray bursts: Effects of magnetic field orientation, equation of state, and mass ratio
We present fully general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the merger of binary neutron star (BNS) systems. We consider BNSs producing a hypermassive neutron star (HMNS) that collapses to a spinning black hole (BH) surrounded by a magnetized accretion disk in a few tens of ms. We investigate whether such systems may launch relativistic jets and hence power short gamma-ray bursts. We study the effects of different equations of state (EOSs), different mass ratios, and different magnetic field orientations. For all cases, we present a detailed investigation of the matter dynamics and of the magnetic field evolution, with particular attention to its global structure and possible emission of relativistic jets. The main result of this work is that we observe the formation of an organized magnetic field structure. This happens independently of EOS, mass ratio, and initial magnetic field orientation. We also show that those models that produce a longer-lived HMNS lead to a stronger magnetic field before collapse to a BH. Such larger fields make it possible, for at least one of our models, to resolve the magnetorotational instability and hence further amplify the magnetic field in the disk. However, by the end of our simulations, we do not (yet) observe a magnetically dominated funnel nor a relativistic outflow. With respect to the recent simulations of Ruiz et al. [Astrophys. J. 824, L6 (2016)], we evolve models with lower and more plausible initial magnetic field strengths and (for computational reasons) we do not evolve the accretion disk for the long time scales that seem to be required in order to see a relativistic outflow. Since all our models produce a similar ordered magnetic field structure aligned with the BH spin axis, we expect that the results found by Ruiz et al. (who only considered an equal-mass system with an ideal fluid EOS) should be general and—at least from a qualitative point of view—independent of the mass ratio, magnetic field orientation, and EOS.
Physical Review D
- Pub Date:
- September 2016
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 23 pages, 26 figures. Minor changes to match version published on PRD. Gravitational waves, initial data, and movies from the simulations are available online as supplemental material on the journal web page at http://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.94.064012