Coalescence of binary neutron stars in a scalar-tensor theory of gravity

We carry out numerical-relativity simulations of coalescing binary neutron stars in a scalar-tensor theory that admits spontaneous scalarization. We model neutron stars with realistic equations of state. We choose the free parameters of the theory taking into account the constraints imposed by the latest observations of neutron-star– white-dwarf binaries with pulsar timing. We show that even within those severe constraints, scalarization can still affect the evolution of the binary neutron stars not only during the late inspiral, but also during the merger stage. We also confirm that even when both neutron stars have quite small scalar charge at large separations, they can be strongly scalarized dynamically during the final stages of the inspiral. In particular, we identify the binary parameters for which scalarization occurs either during the late inspiral or only after the onset of the merger when a remnant, supramassive or hypermassive neutron star is formed. We also discuss how those results can impact the extraction of physical information on gravitational waves once they are detected.

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Date added: Tue, 8 Oct 13