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Constraints on the neutron star equation of state from GW170817

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Abstract.

The first detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star-neutron star merger, GW170817, has opened up a new avenue for constraining the ultradense-matter equation of state (EOS). The deviation of the observed waveform from a point-particle waveform is a sensitive probe of the EOS controlling the merging neutron stars’ structure. In this topical review, I discuss the various constraints that have been made on the EOS in the year following the discovery of GW170817. In particular, I review the surprising relationship that has emerged between the effective tidal deformability of the binary system and the neutron star radius. I also report new results that make use of this relationship, finding that the radius inferred from GW170817 lies between 9.8 and 13.2km at 90% confidence, with distinct likelihood peaks at 10.8 and 12.3km. I compare these radii, as well as those inferred in the literature, to X-ray measurements of the neutron star radius. I also summarize the various maximum mass constraints, which point towards a maximum mass \( \lesssim 2.3 M_{\odot}\), depending on the fate of the remnant, and which can be used to additionally constrain the high-density EOS. I review the constraints on the EOS that have been performed directly, through Bayesian inference schemes. Finally, I comment on the importance of disentangling thermal effects in future EOS constraints from neutron star mergers.

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Correspondence to Carolyn A. Raithel.

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Communicated by L. Tolos

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Raithel, C.A. Constraints on the neutron star equation of state from GW170817. Eur. Phys. J. A 55, 80 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1140/epja/i2019-12759-5

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