Evolution of the magnetized, neutrino-cooled accretion disk in the aftermath of a black hole-neutron star binary merger

Academic Article


  • Black hole-torus systems from compact binary mergers are possible engines for gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). During the early evolution of the post-merger remnant, the state of the torus is determined by a combination of neutrino cooling and magnetically-driven heating processes, so realistic models must include both effects. In this paper, we study the post-merger evolution of a magnetized black hole-neutron star binary system using the Spectral Einstein Code (SpEC) from an initial post-merger state provided by previous numerical relativity simulations. We use a finite-temperature nuclear equation of state and incorporate neutrino effects in a leakage approximation. To achieve the needed accuracy, we introduce improvements to SpEC's implementation of general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), including the use of cubed-sphere multipatch grids and an improved method for dealing with supersonic accretion flows where primitive variable recovery is difficult. We find that a seed magnetic field triggers a sustained source of heating, but its thermal effects are largely cancelled by the accretion and spreading of the torus from MHD-related angular momentum transport. The neutrino luminosity peaks at the start of the simulation, and then drops significantly over the first 20\,ms but in roughly the same way for magnetized and nonmagnetized disks. The heating rate and disk's luminosity decrease much more slowly thereafter. These features of the evolution are insensitive to grid structure and resolution, formulation of the MHD equations, and seed field strength, although turbulent effects are not fully converged
  • Authors

  • Hossein Nouri, Fatemeh
  • Duez, Matthew D
  • Foucart, Francois
  • Deaton, M Brett
  • Haas, Roland
  • Haddadi, Milad
  • Kidder, Lawrence E
  • Ott, Christian D
  • Pfeiffer, Harald P
  • Scheel, Mark A
  • Szilagyi, Bela
  • Publication Date

  • April 2018
  • Published In

  • Physical Review D  Journal
  • Keywords

  • astro-ph.HE
  • gr-qc
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 083014
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 8