LIGO Document P1500105-v4

Inferring the Neutron-Star Equation of State Using Gravitational Waves

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We study how the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) can be used to learn more about the nuclear equation-of-state. The equation- of-state for nuclear matter describes how matter behaves at different densities. Since we cannot recreate such high densities on Earth, we turn to astrophysical sources to learn more about their structure. Gravitational waves from binary neutron star mergers can give us insight into the nature of matter at high densities. First, we describe the current state of research on the subject and the motivation behind this project. We then show how gravitational-wave detections from binary neutron-star systems are sensitive to variations in tidal deformabilities. This information about neutron stars' tidal deformability will constrain the nuclear equation-of-state. We describe the deformation and disruption with a single parameter that affects the gravitational waveform and estimate it using analysis pipeline which we describe here. This estimation will allow us to quantify the pipeline's precision as the number of gravitational-wave detections from binary neutron star systems grows. The deformability will give us new information about the nuclear equation-of-state and will rule out unlikely models. Finally, we compare the pipeline's performance on three possible nuclear equation-of-state models to learn how well the pipeline can differentiate between them.
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