Full transport model of GW170817-like disk produces blue kilonova

J. Miller, B. R. Ryan, J. C. Dolence, A. Burrows, C. L. Fryer, O. Korobkin, J. Lippuner, M. Mumpower, R. T. Wollaeger

Submitted PRD 100, 023008 (2019)

The 2017 detection of the inspiral and merger of two neutron stars in gravitational waves and gamma rays was accompanied by a quickly-reddening transient. Such a transient was predicted to occur following a rapid neutron capture (r-process) nucleosynthesis event, which synthesizes neutron-rich, radioactive nuclei and can take place in both dynamical ejecta and in the wind driven off the accretion torus formed after a neutron star merger. We present the first three-dimensional general relativistic, full transport neutrino radiation magnetohydrodynamics (GRRMHD) simulations of the black hole-accretion disk-wind system produced by the GW170817 merger. We show that the small but non-negligible optical depths lead to neutrino transport globally coupling the disk electron fraction, which we capture by solving the transport equation with a Monte Carlo method. The resulting absorption drives up the electron fraction in a structured, continuous outflow, with electron fraction as high as Ye ∼0.4 in the extreme polar region. We show via nuclear reaction network and radiative transfer calculations that nucleosynthesis in the disk wind will produce a blue kilonova.


r-process simulation

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