NBIA Colloquium by Masaru Shibata

Neutron-star mergers and numerical relativity

Mergers of a neutron star with either another neutron star or a black hole are a promising source of gravitational waves and high-energy phenomena like gamma-ray bursts and kilonovae. This was demonstrated by the first direct detection of gravitational waves and electromagnetic signals from the binary neutron star merger GW170817. In this talk, I will first give a review of observations of GW170817 and summarize the theoretical predictions of neutron star mergers based on numerical simulation in general relativity (numerical relativity). Then, I will show that the kilonova observed in the optical and infrared bands can be well understood from the numerical relativity results.

Masaru Shibata is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam and Professor at the University of Kyoto. He is a leader in the field of numerical relativity. He received his Ph. D. from Kyoto University in 1994, and has previously held positions at Osaka University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Tokyo.