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Linking the rates of neutron star binaries and short gamma-ray bursts

Sarin, Nikhil, Lasky, Paul D., Vivanco, Francisco Hernandez, Stevenson, Simon P., Chattopadhyay, Debatri, Smith, Rory and Thrane, Eric 2022. Linking the rates of neutron star binaries and short gamma-ray bursts. Physical Review D 105 (8) , 083004. 10.1103/PhysRevD.105.083004

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Short gamma-ray bursts are believed to be produced by both binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star-black hole (NSBH) mergers. We use current estimates for the BNS and NSBH merger rates to calculate the fraction of observable short gamma-ray bursts produced through each channel. This allows us to constrain merger rates of a BNS to R BNS = 38 4 + 431 − 213     Gpc − 3     yr − 1 (90% credible interval), a 16% decrease in the rate uncertainties from the second Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO)-Virgo Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog. Assuming a top-hat emission profile with a large Lorentz factor, we constrain the average opening angle of gamma-ray burst jets produced in BNS mergers to ≈ 1 5 ° . We also measure the fraction of BNS and NSBH mergers that produce an observable short gamma-ray burst to be 0.02 + 0.02 − 0.01 and 0.01 ± 0.01 , respectively, and find that ≳ 40 % of BNS mergers launch jets (90% confidence). We forecast constraints for future gravitational-wave detections given different modeling assumptions, including the possibility that BNS and NSBH jets are different. With 24 BNS and 55 NSBH observations, expected within six months of the LIGO-Virgo-Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector network operating at design sensitivity, it will be possible to constrain the fraction of BNS and NSBH mergers that launch jets with 10% precision. Within a year of observations, we can determine whether the jets launched in NSBH mergers have a different structure than those launched in BNS mergers and rule out whether ≳ 80 % of binary neutron star mergers launch jets. We discuss the implications of future constraints on understanding the physics of short gamma-ray bursts and binary evolution.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Additional Information: Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Publisher: American Physical Society
ISSN: 2470-0010
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 27 March 2022
Last Modified: 25 May 2022 10:00

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