Abstract:
We show the results of dynamical simulations of the coalescence of black hole-neutron star binaries. We use a Newtonian Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics code, and include the effects of gravitational radiation back reaction with the quadrupole approximation for point masses, and compute the gravitational radiation waveforms. We assume a polytropic equation of state determines the structure of the neutron star in equilibrium, and use an ideal gas law to follow the dynamical evolution. Three main parameters are explored: (i) The distribution of angular momentum in the system in the initial configuration, namely tidally locked systems vs. irrotational binaries; (ii) The stiffness of the equation of state through the value of the adiabatic index Gamma (ranging from Gamma=5/3 to Gamma=3); (iii) The initial mass ratio q=M(NS)/M(BH). We find that it is the value of Gamma that determines how the coalescence takes place, with immediate and complete tidal disruption for Gamma less than 2, while the core of the neutron star survives and stays in orbit around the black hole for Gamma=3. This result is largely independent of the initial mass ratio and spin configuration, and is reflected directly in the gravitational radiation signal. For a wide range of mass ratios, massive accretion disks are formed (M(disk)~0.2 solar masses), with baryon-free regions that could possibly give rise to gamma ray bursts.

Abstract:
We present a new three-dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamic evolution scheme coupled to dynamical spacetime evolutions which is capable of efficiently simulating stellar collapse, isolated neutron stars, black hole formation, and binary neutron star coalescence. We make use of a set of adapted curvi-linear grids (multipatches) coupled with flux-conservative cell-centered adaptive mesh refinement. This allows us to significantly enlarge our computational domains while still maintaining high resolution in the gravitational-wave extraction zone, the exterior layers of a star, or the region of mass ejection in merging neutron stars. The fluid is evolved with a high-resolution shock capturing finite volume scheme, while the spacetime geometry is evolved using fourth-order finite differences. We employ a multi-rate Runge-Kutta time integration scheme for efficiency, evolving the fluid with second-order and the spacetime geometry with fourth-order integration, respectively. We validate our code by a number of benchmark problems: a rotating stellar collapse model, an excited neutron star, neutron star collapse to a black hole, and binary neutron star coalescence. The test problems, especially the latter, greatly benefit from higher resolution in the gravitational-wave extraction zone, causally disconnected outer boundaries, and application of Cauchy-characteristic gravitational-wave extraction. We show that we are able to extract convergent gravitational-wave modes up to (l,m)=(6,6). This study paves the way for more realistic and detailed studies of compact objects and stellar collapse in full three dimensions and in large computational domains. The multipatch infrastructure and the improvements to mesh refinement and hydrodynamics codes discussed in this paper will be made available as part of the open-source Einstein Toolkit.

Abstract:
We perform magnetohydrodynamic simulations in full general relativity (GRMHD) of a binary black hole-neutron star on a quasicircular orbit that undergoes merger. The binary mass ratio is 3:1, the black hole initial spin parameter $a/m=0.75$ ($m$ is the black hole Christodoulou mass) aligned with the orbital angular momentum, and the neutron star is an irrotational $\Gamma=2$ polytrope. About two orbits prior to merger (at time $t=t_B$), we seed the neutron star with a dynamically weak interior dipole magnetic field that extends into the stellar exterior. At $t=t_B$ the exterior has a low-density atmosphere with constant plasma parameter $\beta\equiv P_{\rm gas}/P_{\rm mag}$. Varying $\beta$ at $t_B$ in the exterior from $0.1$ to $0.01$, we find that at a time $\sim 4000{\rm M} \sim 100(M_{\rm NS}/1.4M_\odot)$ms [M is the total (ADM) mass] following the onset of accretion of tidally disrupted debris, magnetic winding above the remnant black hole poles builds up the magnetic field sufficiently to launch a mildly relativistic, collimated outflow - an incipient jet. The duration of the accretion and the lifetime of the jet is $\Delta t\sim 0.5(M_{\rm NS}/1.4M_\odot)$s. Our simulations furnish the first explicit examples in GRMHD which show that a jet can emerge following a black hole - neutron star merger.

Abstract:
We present a numerical study of the hydrodynamics in the final stages of inspiral in a black hole-neutron star binary, when the separation becomes comparable to the stellar radius. We use a Newtonian three-dimensional Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) code, and model the neutron star with a soft (adiabatic index Gamma=5/3) polytropic equation of state and the black hole as a Newtonian point mass which accretes matter via an absorbing boundary at the Schwarzschild radius. Our initial conditions correspond to tidally locked binaries in equilibirium. The dynamical evolution is followed for approximately 23 ms, and in every case for Gamma=5/3 we find that the neutron star is tidally disrupted on a dynamical timescale, forming a dense torus around the black hole that contains a few tenths of a solar mass. A nearly baryon-free axis is present in the system throughout the coalescence, a fireball expanding along that axis would avoid excessive baryon contamination and could give rise to a modestly beamed gamma-ray burst.

Abstract:
We present the first direct comparison of numerical simulations of neutron star-black hole and black hole-black hole mergers in full general relativity. We focus on a configuration with non spinning objects and within the most likely range of mass ratio for neutron star-black hole systems (q=6). In this region of the parameter space, the neutron star is not tidally disrupted prior to merger, and we show that the two types of mergers appear remarkably similar. The effect of the presence of a neutron star on the gravitational wave signal is not only undetectable by the next generation of gravitational wave detectors, but also too small to be measured in the numerical simulations: even the plunge, merger and ringdown signals appear in perfect agreement for both types of binaries. The characteristics of the post-merger remnants are equally similar, with the masses of the final black holes agreeing within dM< 5 10^{-4}M_BH and their spins within da< 10^{-3}M_BH. The rate of periastron advance in the mixed binary agrees with previously published binary black hole results, and we use the inspiral waveforms to place constraints on the accuracy of our numerical simulations independent of algorithmic choices made for each type of binary. Overall, our results indicate that non-disrupting neutron star-black hole mergers are exceptionally well modeled by black hole-black hole mergers, and that given the absence of mass ejection, accretion disk formation, or differences in the gravitational wave signals, only electromagnetic precursors could prove the presence of a neutron star in low-spin systems of total mass ~10Msun, at least until the advent of gravitational wave detectors with a sensitivity comparable to that of the proposed Einstein Telescope.

Abstract:
We elucidate the feature of gravitational waves (GWs) from binary neutron star merger collapsing to a black hole by general relativistic simulation. We show that GW spectrum imprints the coalescence dynamics, formation process of disk, equation of state for neutron stars, total masses, and mass ratio. A formation mechanism of the central engine of short $\gamma$-ray bursts, which are likely to be composed of a black hole and surrounding disk, therefore could be constrained by GW observation.

Abstract:
Expulsion of neutron-rich matter following the merger of neutron star (NS) binaries is crucial to the radioactively-powered electromagnetic counterparts of these events and to their relevance as sources of r-process nucleosynthesis. Here we explore the long-term (viscous) evolution of remnant black hole accretion disks formed in such mergers by means of two-dimensional, time-dependent hydrodynamical simulations. The evolution of the electron fraction due to charged-current weak interactions is included, and neutrino self-irradiation is modeled as a lightbulb that accounts for the disk geometry and moderate optical depth effects. Over several viscous times (~1s), a fraction ~10% of the initial disk mass is ejected as a moderately neutron-rich wind (Y_e ~ 0.2) powered by viscous heating and nuclear recombination, with neutrino self-irradiation playing a sub-dominant role. Although the properties of the outflow vary in time and direction, their mean values in the heavy-element production region are relatively robust to variations in the initial conditions of the disk and the magnitude of its viscosity. The outflow is sufficiently neutron-rich that most of the ejecta forms heavy r-process elements with mass number A >130, thus representing a new astrophysical source of r-process nucleosynthesis, distinct from that produced in the dynamical ejecta. Due to its moderately high entropy, disk outflows contain a small residual fraction ~1% of helium, which could produce a unique spectroscopic signature.

Abstract:
We review the formation scenarios for binary black holes, and show that their coalescence rate depends very strongly on the outcome of the second mass transfer. However, the observations of IC10 X-1, an binary with a massive black hole accreting from a Wolf-Rayet star proves that this mass transfer can be stable. We analyze the future evolution of IC10 X-1 and show that it is very likely to form a binary black hole system merging in a few Gyrs. We estimate the coalescence rate density of such systems to be $ 0.06 {\rm Mpc}^{-3} {\rm Myr}^{-1}$, and the detection rate for the current LIGO/VIRGO of $ 0.69 {\rm yr}^{-1} $, a much higher value than the expected double neutron star rate. Thus the first detection of a gravitational wave source is likely to be a coalescence of a binary black hole.

Abstract:
The most important sources for laser-interferometric gravitational-wave detectors like LIGO or VIRGO are catastrophic events such as coalescence of a neutron-star binary. The final phase, or the last three milliseconds, of coalescence is considered. We describe results of numerical simulations of coalescing binary neutron stars using Newtonian and post-Newtonian hydrodynamics code and then discuss recent development of our 3D GR code.

Abstract:
The nature of binary black hole coalescence is the final, uncharted frontier of the relativistic Kepler problem. In the United States, binary black hole coalescence has been identified as a computational ``Grand Challenge'' whose solution is the object of a coordinated effort, just reaching its half-way point, by more than two-score researchers at nearly a dozen institutions. In this report I highlight what I see as the most serious problems standing between us and a general computational solution to the problem of binary black hole coalescence: * the computational burden associated of the problem based on reasonable extrapolations of present-day computing algorithms and near-term hardware developments; * some of the computational issues associated with those estimates, and how, through the use of different or more sophisticated computational algorithms we might reduce the expected burden; and * some of the physical problems associated with the development of a numerical solution of the field equations for a binary black hole system, with particular attention to work going on in, or in association with, the Grand Challenge.