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Thursday, February 07, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)

Postdoc Seminar

Black Holes, Neutrinos, Neutrons, et al.: How The Merger of Two Dead Stars Makes the Heaviest Elements in the Universe, and How We Know

Jonah Miller

The 2017 detection of the in-spiral and merger of two neutron stars was a landmark discovery in astrophysics. We now know that the merger ofthese ultracompact stellar remnants is a central engine of short gamma ray bursts and a site of r-process nucleosynthesis, where the heaviestelements in our universe are formed. In the coming years, we expect many more such mergers. The modeling of these systems depends sensitively on a complex interplay of general relativity, plasma physics, nuclear physics, and neutrino physics. As observations ramp up in the near future, detailed models are urgently needed. This presents a significant computational challenge along with the observational one. In this talk, I describe what we saw on September 17, 2017, present open questions, and present my own contribution to the modeling effort. This is nubhlight, a state-of-the-art numerical scheme for solving generalrelativistic magnetohydrodynamics with frequency-dependent neutrino transport using a Monte Carlo method. I will also show exciting preliminary results from early nubhlight simulations.

Host: David Metiver