|Dr Max Ruffert (Edinburgh)|
|20th March 2003 - to be held in Maths Dept (Joint Seminar with the Maths General Relativity Group)|
|"Merging Neutron Stars and Black Holes as Central Engines of Gamma-Ray Bursts"|
The mergers of neutron stars and black holes remain a viable model for gamma-ray burst central engines, at least for the class of short bursts: their time scales, occurrence rates and energy output seem to be consistent with observations. We will present results of our latest simulations showing how the orbit of a neutron star around a black hole shrinks due to gravitational radiation, how the neutron star's matter gets accreted by the black hole, and how the tidal forces of the black hole finally shred the neutron star into a thick disk. In this process, huge amounts of energy are radiated away by gravitational waves and by neutrinos emitted from the hot disk. The neutrino luminosities are so large that an appreciable fraction (some few percent!) of neutrinos annihilate with antineutrinos creating the clean fireball necessary to power gamma-ray bursts.
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