INT Program INT-17-2b
Electromagnetic Signatures of r-process Nucleosynthesis in Neutron Star Binary Mergers
July 24 - August 18, 2017
The impending detection of coalescing neutron star (NS) binaries by Advanced LIGO / Virgo offers a tremendous opportunity for nuclear physics and astrophysics. Gravitational waves (GW) from these mergers encode information on NS masses, radii, tidal deformability, and the maximum NS mass, all of which constrain the nuclear equation of state. Follow up observations across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum may lead to the discovery of an optical/infrared counterpart powered by the radioactive decay of r-process isotopes. The light curves and spectra of these so-called kilonovae carry information on the amount and composition r-process nuclei, offering detailed insight into galactic chemical enrichment and the extreme nuclear and neutrino physics involved in NS mergers.
The schedule for the 4-week backbone program is designed to foster interactions among theorists, experimentalists and observers, thus facilitating inter-disciplinary collaborations and discussions that might otherwise not take place. Due to space constraints, we are limited to host ~20 long-term participants at any given time. To allow for greater participation, a more intensive workshop for a larger number of participants during the second week will bring together experts working on all aspects of the EM signals of NS mergers.
Week 1 (7/24 - 7/28): Binary formation channels, progenitors, galactic chemical evolution and metal-poor stars, EM follow-up observations
Week 3 (8/7 - 8/11): Nuclear equation of state, neutrino interactions, nuclear properties of exotic neutron-rich nuclei, atomic structure and opacities of r-process elements
Week 4 (8/14 - 8/18): Astrophysical modeling, numerical relativity, modeling EM signals
During weeks 1,3, and 4, an emphasis will be placed on pedagogical talks, followed by ample time for open discussion and free collaboration. The workshop on week 2 will feature more talks as well as panel discussions.