A&A Colloquium: Carolyn Raithel (Institute for Advanced Study)

3:30–4:30 pm ERC 161

Host: Hsiao-Wen Chen

Carolyn Raithel (Institute for Advanced Study)

Title:  Multi-Messenger Probes of the Neutron Star Equation of State


Neutron stars contain the densest stable matter in the universe. Since the first detection of gravitational waves from a binary neutron star merger in 2017, we have entered an era of multi-messenger observations of these extreme objects and their transients. However, the interpretation of these new types of data also poses new challenges for theorists working to develop a unified understanding of the dense-matter physics that govern neutron stars across a wide range of settings -- from the cold, equilibrium conditions of an isolated neutron star, to the hot and dynamical environment following a merger. In this talk, I will discuss a theoretical framework for connecting astrophysical observations of neutron stars to the microphysics of their interior structure. I will discuss what we have learned about the dense-matter equation of state (EoS) from the first observations of neutron stars mergers, and what we hope to learn from current and upcoming experiments over the next decade. Along the way, I will present results from numerical relativity simulations of neutron star mergers, using a new phenomenological framework for calculating the EoS, and will use these results to highlight some of the key open questions and challenges that lie ahead.

About speaker:

Carolyn Raithel is interested in using astrophysical observations of neutron stars to study the properties and interactions of matter at extreme densities. Her current research focuses on the gravitational waves emitted during neutron star mergers, using a mix of analytic theory and numerical simulations.

Event Type


Feb 1