CCA Colloquium: Dan Kasen
Title: Signals from Black Hole + Neutron Star Mergers
Abstract: Gravitational wave observations from the last LIGO/VIRGO run appeared to detect mergers between a neutron star and a black hole. The electromagnetic counterparts of such events may differ from binary neutron star mergers and require distinct follow-up strategies. I will discuss predictions for the mass ejection, nucleosynthesis and dynamics of the merger debris, and how the electromagnetic signatures depend on the physical conditions in and the geometry of the system. Certain electromagnetic observables are sensitive the orientation of the system and mass ratio of the components, and can be combined with gravitational-wave data to further teach us about the physics and progenitors of mergers, the origin of the heavy elements and the properties of dense neutron star matter.