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Quark formation and phenomenology in binary neutron-star mergers using V-QCD

Samuel Tootle, Christian Ecker, Konrad Topolski, Tuna Demircik, Matti Järvinen, Luciano Rezzolla

SciPost Phys. 13, 109 (2022) · published 16 November 2022


Using full 3+1 dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of equal- and unequal-mass neutron-star binaries with properties that are consistent with those inferred from the inspiral of GW170817, we perform a detailed study of the quark-formation processes that could take place after merger. We use three equations of state consistent with current pulsar observations derived from a novel finite-temperature framework based on V-QCD, a non-perturbative gauge/gravity model for Quantum Chromodynamics. In this way, we identify three different post-merger stages at which mixed baryonic and quark matter, as well as pure quark matter, are generated. A phase transition triggered collapse already $\lesssim 10\,\rm{ms}$ after the merger reveals that the softest version of our equations of state is actually inconsistent with the expected second-long post-merger lifetime of GW170817. Our results underline the impact that gravitational wave observations of binary neutron-star mergers can have in constraining the equation of state of nuclear matter, especially in its most extreme regimes.

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