Gravitational-wave observations of neutron-star mergers

Jocelyn Read
California State University, Fullerton (CSU Fullerton)

New discoveries by LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA are beginning to inform our understanding of dense matter and stellar evolution. The neutron-star/black-hole mergers GW200105 and GW20011 and the heavy neutron-star merger GW190425 have revealed that the gravitational-wave population includes binary systems unlike those previously observed in our Galaxy. We have also used the gravitational-wave data of GW170817 - the first signal from merging neutron stars - to constrain the equation of state of dense matter in neutron stars. With more distant sources typically expected, the distribution of masses in compact binary mergers will become a key observable in the coming years of gravitational-wave astronomy. In this talk, I will discuss methods being used to explore matter and mass properties for LIGO/Virgo neutron stars. I will discuss how these results fit with other neutron-star observations, outline prospects of learning about matter in the current Advanced-detector era, and extrapolate to the potential of next-generation gravitational-wave observatories like Cosmic Explorer to map the phase diagram of dense neutron-rich matter and the endpoints of stellar evolution.

Back to Workshop III: Source inference and parameter estimation in Gravitational Wave Astronomy