We present a framework to study generic neutron-star binaries in scalar-tensor theories of gravity. Our formalism achieves this goal by suitably interfacing a post-Newtonian orbital evolution (described by a set of ordinary differential equations) with a set of non-linear algebraic equations, which provide a description of the scalar charge of each binary’s component along the evolution in terms of isolated-star data. We validate this semi-analytical procedure by comparing its results to those of fully general-relativistic simulations, and use it to investigate the behavior of binary systems in large portions of the parameter space of scalar-tensor theories. This allows us to shed further light on the phenomena of “dynamical scalarization”, which we uncovered in [Barausse, Palenzuela, Ponce and Lehner, Phys. Rev. D 87, 081506(R) (2013)] and which takes place in tight binaries, even for stars that have exactly zero scalar charge in isolation. We also employ our formalism to study representative binary systems, obtain their gravitational-wave signals and discuss the extent to which deviations from General Relativity can be detected. The insights gained by this framework allow us to additionally show that eccentric binaries can undergo scalarization/de-scalarization phenomena.
Date added: Thu, 17 Oct 13