Authors: Benjamin J. Owen (Penn State)
Date: 15 Mar 2009
Abstract: Within the next decade gravitational-wave (GW) observations by Advanced LIGO in the United States, Advanced Virgo and GEO HF in Europe, and possibly other ground-based instruments will provide unprecedented opportunities to look directly into the dense interiors of neutron stars which are opaque to all forms of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. The 10-10000 Hz frequency band available to these ground-based interferometers is inhabited by many neutron star mode frequencies, spin frequencies, and inverse dynamical timescales. GWs can provide information on bulk properties of neutron stars (masses, radii, locations…) as well as microphysics of their substance (crystalline structure, viscosity, composition…), some of which is difficult or impossible to obtain by EM observations alone. The former will tell us about the astrophysics of neutron stars, and the latter will illuminate fundamental issues in nuclear and particle physics and the physics of extremely condensed matter. Although GW searches can be done "blind," they become richer and more informative with input from EM observations; and thus the combination of the two is crucial for learning the most we can about neutron stars. Healthy GW and EM observational programs must be accompanied by vigorous theoretical research on the interface of astrophysics, gravitational physics, nuclear and particle physics in order to extract the most from the observations.
© M. Vallisneri 2012 — last modified on 2010/01/29
Tantum in modicis, quantum in maximis