Living Reviews in Relativity: “Binary Neutron Star Mergers”

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Living Reviews in Relativity has published a new review article on “Binary Neutron Star Mergers” by Joshua A. Faber and Frederic A. Rasio on July 4, 2012. Please find the abstract and further details below.

We are also pleased to announce that Living Reviews in Relativity received an impact factor of 17.462 in Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Report 2011, again leading the category Physics, Particles & Fields. Special thanks to all our authors for writing such excellent reviews!

PUB.NO. lrr-2012-8
Faber, Joshua A. and Rasio, Frederic A.
“Binary Neutron Star Mergers”

ACCEPTED: 2012-05-22
PUBLISHED: 2012-07-04


We review the current status of studies of the coalescence of binary neutron star systems. We begin with a discussion of the channels by which merging binaries form, and discuss the most recent observational and theoretical predictions for observable merger rates. Next, we turn to the quasi-equilibrium formalisms that are used to study binaries prior to the merger phase and to generate initial data for dynamical simulations, including a discussion of our current understanding of the physics they can reveal in their own right and how they have shaped our view of the orbital instability processes that can drive binaries to merger at the end of their lifetimes. Afterwards, we turn to the techniques used in dynamical simulations, including relativistic formalisms, (magneto)hydrodynamics, gravitational wave extraction techniques, and nuclear-density microphysical treatments. This is followed by a discussion of the simulations performed across the field to date, including the most recent results from both fully relativistic and/or microphysically-oriented simulations. Finally, we discuss the likely directions for the field as we transition from the first generation of gravitational wave interferometers to the second while supercomputers enter the petascale regime.