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Using full 3+1 dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of equal- and unequal-mass neutron-star binaries with properties that are consistent with those inferred from the inspiral of GW170817, we perform a detailed study of the quark-formation processes that could take place after merger. We use three equations of state consistent with current pulsar observations derived from a novel finite-temperature framework based on V-QCD, a non-perturbative gauge/gravity model for Quantum Chromodynamics. In this way, we identify three different post-merger stages at which mixed baryonic and quark matter, as well as pure quark matter, are generated. A phase transition triggered collapse already ≲ 10 ms after the merger reveals that the softest version of our equations of state is actually inconsistent with the expected second-long post-merger lifetime of GW170817. Our results underline the impact that gravitational wave observations of binary neutron-star mergers can have in constraining the equation of state of nuclear matter, especially in its most extreme regimes.

Using full 3+1 dimensional general-relativistic hydrodynamic simulations of equal- and unequal-mass neutron-star binaries with properties that are consistent with those inferred from the inspiral of GW170817, we perform a detailed study of the quark-formation processes that could take place after merger. We use three equations of state consistent with current pulsar observations derived from a novel finite-temperature framework based on V-QCD, a non-perturbative gauge/gravity model for Quantum Chromodynamics. In this way, we identify three different post-merger stages at which mixed baryonic and quark matter, as well as pure quark matter, are generated. A phase transition triggered collapse already ≲10ms after the merger reveals that the softest version of our equations of state is actually inconsistent with the expected second-long post-merger lifetime of GW170817. Our results underline the impact that multi-messenger observations of binary neutron-star mergers can have in constraining the equation of state of nuclear matter, especially in its most extreme regimes.

We carry out an in-depth analysis of the prompt-collapse behaviour of binary neutron star (BNS) mergers. To this end, we perform more than 80 general relativistic BNS merger simulations using a family of realistic Equations of State (EOS) with different stiffness, which feature a first order deconfinement phase transition between hadronic and quark matter. From these simulations we infer the critical binary mass Mcrit that separates the prompt from the non-prompt collapse regime. We show that the critical mass increases with the stiffness of the EOS and obeys a tight quasi-universal relation, Mcrit/MTOV ≈ 1.41 ± 0.06, which links it to the maximum mass MTOV of static neutron stars, and therefore provides a straightforward estimate for the total binary mass beyond which prompt collapse becomes inevitable. In addition, we introduce a novel gauge independent definition for a one-parameter family of threshold masses in terms of curvature invariants of the Riemann tensor which characterizes the development toward a more rapid collapse with increasing binary mass. Using these diagnostics, we find that the amount of matter remaining outside the black hole sharply drops in supercritical mass mergers compared to subcritical ones and is further reduced in mergers where the black hole collapse is induced by the formation of a quark matter core. This implies that Mcrit, particularly for merger remnants featuring quark matter cores, imposes a strict upper limit on the emission of any detectable electromagnetic counterpart in BNS mergers.

We present a novel framework for the equation of state of dense and hot quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which focuses on the region of the phase diagram relevant for neutron star mergers and core-collapse supernovae. The model combines predictions from the gauge/gravity duality with input from lattice field theory, QCD perturbation theory, chiral effective theory, and statistical modeling. It is therefore, by construction, in good agreement with theoretical constraints both at low and high densities and temperatures. The main ingredients of our setup are the nonperturbative V-QCD model based on the gauge/gravity duality, a van der Waals model for nucleon liquid, and the DD2 version of the Hempel-Schaffner-Bielich statistical model of nuclear matter. By consistently combining these models, we also obtain a description for the nuclear to quark matter phase transition and its critical end point. The parameter dependence of the model is represented by three (soft, intermediate, and stiff) variants of the equation of state, all of which agree with observational constraints from neutron stars and their mergers. We discuss resulting constraints for the equation of state, predictions for neutron stars, and the location of the critical point.

We present a novel framework for the equation of state of dense and hot Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), which focuses on the region of the phase diagram relevant for neutron star mergers and core-collapse supernovae. The model combines predictions from the gauge/gravity duality with input from lattice field theory, QCD perturbation theory, chiral effective theory and statistical modeling. It is therefore, by construction, in good agreement with theoretical constraints both at low and high densities and temperatures. The main ingredients of our setup are the non-perturbative V-QCD model based on the gauge/gravity duality, a van der Waals model for nucleon liquid, and the DD2 version of the Hempel-Schaffner-Bielich statistical model of nuclear matter. By consistently combining these models, we also obtain a description for the nuclear to quark matter phase transition and its critical endpoint. The parameter dependence of the model is represented by three (soft, intermediate and stiff) variants of the equation of state, all of which agree with observational constraints from neutron stars and their mergers. We discuss resulting constraints for the equation of state, predictions for neutron stars and the location of the critical point.

Determining the phase structure of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and its Equation of State (EOS) at densities and temperatures realized inside neutron stars and their mergers is a long-standing open problem. The holographic V-QCD framework provides a model for the EOS of dense and hot QCD, which describes the deconfinement phase transition between a dense baryonic and a quark matter phase. We use this model in fully general relativistic hydrodynamic (GRHD) simulations to study the formation of quark matter and the emitted gravitational wave signal of binary systems that are similar to the first ever observed neutron star merger event GW170817.