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2/13/20: SO/NSF's OIR Lab Joint Colloquium Series: Carolyn Raithel, Steward Observ.


Title: Constraining the Neutron Star Equation of State with Gravitational Wave Events

Neutron stars provide a unique probe of the dense-matter equation of state (EOS), which in turn governs many astrophysical transients of interest today. Recently, a new avenue for studying the neutron star EOS has emerged: via the gravitational waves emitted during a binary neutron star merger. In this talk, I will summarize what we have learned from the first two binary neutron star mergers and what we might hope to learn from future events. I will start by discussing how we can directly extract stellar radii from gravitational wave events and how the inferred radii compare to previous X-ray measurements. I will also present constraints on the neutron star mass distribution from the observed merger events and will relate these results back to the EOS. Finally, I will introduce a new framework for calculating the EOS that will allow us to disentangle the role of thermal effects from the underlying cold physics in future analyses of gravitational waves and their electromagnetic counterparts.