Neutron Star Tidal Deformabilities Constrained by Nuclear Theory and Experiment

Yeunhwan Lim, Jeremy W. Holt

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We confront observational data from gravitational wave event GW170817 with microscopic modeling of the cold neutron star equation of state. We develop and employ a Bayesian statistical framework that enables us to implement constraints on the equation of state from laboratory measurements of nuclei and state-of-the-art chiral effective field theory methods. The energy density functionals constructed from the posterior probability distributions are then used to compute consistently the neutron star equation of state from the outer crust to the inner core, assuming a composition consisting of protons, neutrons, electrons, and muons. In contrast to previous studies, we find that the 95% credibility range of predicted neutron star tidal deformabilities (136<Λ<519) for a 1.4 solar-mass neutron star is already consistent with the upper bound deduced from observations of the GW170817 event. However, we find that lower bounds on the neutron star tidal deformability will very strongly constrain microscopic models of the dense matter equation of state. We also demonstrate a strong correlation between the neutron star tidal deformability and the pressure of beta-equilibrated matter at twice saturation density.

Original languageEnglish
Article number062701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 7 Aug 2018

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© 2018 American Physical Society.


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