Coalescence of Black HoleNeutron Star Binaries
Abstract
We review the current status of general relativistic studies for the coalescence of black holeneutron star (BHNS) binaries. First, procedures for a solution of BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium circular orbits and the numerical results, such as quasiequilibrium sequence and massshedding limit, of the highprecision computation, are summarized. Then, the current status of numericalrelativity simulations for the merger of BHNS binaries is described. We summarize our understanding for the merger and/or tidal disruption processes, the criterion for tidal disruption, the properties of the remnant formed after the tidal disruption, gravitational waveform, and gravitationalwave spectrum.
Keywords
Gravitational Wave Disk Mass Innermost Stable Circular Orbit Orbital Separation Tidal Disruption1 Introduction
1.1 Overview of BHNS binaries
The final fate of BHNS binaries is classified into two categories; a NS is tidally disrupted by its companion BH before it is swallowed by the BH or a NS is simply swallowed by its companion BH in the final phase. There is a third possibility, in which stable mass transfer occurs after the onset of mass shedding of the NS by the BH tidal field. Although this may be possible, numerical simulations performed so far have not shown this to be the case, as will be mentioned in Section 1.6.
We emphasize here that Equation (5) is the necessary condition for the onset of mass shedding, strictly speaking. Tidal disruption occurs after substantial mass is stripped from the surface of the NS, during the decrease of the orbital separation due to gravitationalwave emission. Thus, tidal disruption should occur for a smaller orbital separation (larger orbital angular velocity) than that derived from Equation (5). We also note that the NS radius is assumed to depend weakly on the NS mass. If the radius quickly increases with mass loss, tidal disruption may occur soon after the onset of mass shedding.
In the above simple estimate, the tidaldeformation effect of the NS to the orbital motion is not taken into account. As a result of the tidal deformation, the gravitational force between two stars is modified, so are the orbital evolution and the criterion for tidal disruption. Lai, Rasio, and Shapiro [111, 113, 112] thoroughly investigated the effects associated with tidal deformation in the Newtonian framework with the ellipsoidal approximation. They found that the twobody attractive force is strengthen by the effect of the tidal deformation and, by this, the orbital separation of the ISCO is increased (see [165, 166, 114, 190] for related issues) and that gravitational waveforms in the late inspiral phase are modified (see [66, 68, 67, 72] for related issues). Uryū and Eriguchi confirmed the fact that the tidal force modifies the orbital motion of BHNS binaries by numerically computing equilibrium states of a binary composed of a point mass and a fluid star. The essence is that in addition to the Newtonian potential, which has the form ∝ r^{−1}, the correction term of the form ∝ r^{−6} appears when a NS is tidally deformed. The magnitude of this correction increases steeply with the decrease of the orbital separation, and modifies the location of the ISCO. Also, the tidal effect accelerates the orbital evolution, because the orbital velocity (and the centrifugal force) has to be increased to maintain circular orbits in an enhanced attractive force, and then, the emissivity of gravitational waves is enhanced, leading to a shorter inspiral time.
1.2 Tidal problem around a BH: Effects of BH spin and the NS EOS
As shown by a simple estimate in the previous Section 1.1, the final fate of BHNS binaries depends primarily on the mass ratio, Q, and the compactness of the NS, \({\mathcal C}\). However, a detailed analysis has shown that the BH spin and the NS EOS also play an important role in determining the final fate. In particular, the effect of the BH spin can be significant.
Another important finding is that the criteria for mass shedding (and tidal disruption) depend on the NS EOS even if the mass and radius of the NS are identical [225, 94]: NSs with stiffer EOS, (i.e., with high adiabatic index) have a relatively uniform density profile and are susceptible to tidal deformation, mass shedding, and tidal disruption by the BH tidal field. Consequently, condition (12) is modified by the EOS. In the calculation with compressible models [225, 94], the maximum possible mass of a BH, which can cause mass shedding, may be reduced by 10–20% for soft EOS (with the relatively small adiabatic index). This implies that not only the compactness of the NS but also its EOS, which is still unknown, is reflected in the tidal disruption event. General relativistic studies for quasiequilibria of BHNS binaries in addition show that the selfgravity of the NS significantly reduces the maximum mass of the BH for the onset of mass shedding (see Section 1.4 and Figure 22).
1.3 Why is the merger of BHNS binaries important?

Gravitational waves emitted during tidal disruption of a NS will bring us invaluable information about the radius and the EOS of the NS, because the orbital frequency at tidal disruption depends strongly on the compactness of the NS (GM_{NS}/R_{NS}c^{2}), e.g., [107, 109]. The masses of the NS and the BH will be determined by the data analysis for gravitational waves emitted in the inspiral phase (see, e.g., [49] and also references cited in [96, 180]). If the NS radius could be determined or constrained from the observation of gravitational waves emitted during tidal disruption, the resultant relation between the mass and the radius of the observed NS may be used for constraining the EOS of the highdensity nuclear matter [127, 220, 70]. Therefore, the gravitationalwave observation for BHNS binaries will provide a new tool for exploring highdensity nuclear matter, which is totally independent of standard nuclear experiments. The issue here is to theoretically clarify the dependence of gravitational waveforms on the NS EOS quantitatively; theoretical templates for a variety of possible EOS have to be prepared.
 A tidallydisrupted NS may form a disk or torus of mass larger than 0.01 M_{⊙} with the density ≳ 10^{11} g/cm^{3} and the temperature ≳ 10 MeV around the remnant BH, if tidal disruption occurs outside the ISCO. A system consisting of a spinning BH surrounded by a massive, hot, and dense torus has been proposed as one of the likely sources for the central engine of a GRB [143, 232, 161, 142]. For the merger of BHNS binaries, the resulting disk is likely to be compact and its mass is relatively small, of order 0.1 M_{⊙}. Since the lifetime of such a disk is likely to be short (≲ 1 s), BHNS binaries are proposed to be the progenitor of SGRB. Specifically, the merger of a lowmass BH and/or a rapidlyspinning BH, and its companion NS can be a candidate for the source of the central engine. According to the observational results by the Swift and HETE2 satellites [142], the total energy of the SGRB is larger than ∼ 10^{48} ergs, and typically 10^{49}–10^{50} ergs. This value may be explained if 1–10% of the thermal energy generated in a compact disk around a BH is converted to SGRB:Here, η_{eff} is the efficiency, r_{ d } is the typical inner radius of the disk, and Ṁ is the mass accretion rate. The issue to be resolved is whether or not the mass and thermal energy of the torus formed after the merger are large enough for driving an SGRB of such huge total luminosity. The latest observations have also discovered that a longterm Xray flare of duration ∼ 10^{3}–10^{4} s is often associated with an SGRB [142]. Another more challenging issue is whether or not such an activity may be explained in the BHNS merger scenario.$$L = {\eta _{{\rm{eff}}}}{{G{M_{{\rm{BH}}}}\dot M} \over {{r_d}}} \approx 2 \times {10^{49}}{\rm{ergs/s}}\left({{{{\eta _{{\rm{eff}}}}} \over {{{10}^{ 2}}}}} \right)\left({{{10 \; G{M_{{\rm{BH}}}}} \over {r_{d}{c^2}}}} \right)\left({{{\dot M} \over {{{10}^{ 2}}{M_ \odot}/s}}} \right).$$(13)

Material ejected from a tidallydisrupted NS may be important for understanding the observed abundances of the heavy elements that are formed by rapid neutron capture in the rprocess [118]. One crucial question is whether it is possible for a fraction of material to escape from the system, because the situation is not well prepared for the mass ejection. Tidal disruption of a NS occurs typically at an orbital separation of ∼ 10GM_{BH}/c^{2}. For a test particle of mass m in a circular orbit around the BH with r = 10 GM_{BH}/c^{2}, the total energy is approximately GM_{BH}m/2r = 0.05 mc^{2}. For a free nucleon, 0.05 mc^{2} ≈ 50 MeV. Thus, the issues are, specifically, to answer whether it is possible to give about 50 MeV energy to each nucleon and, if possible, to clarify what the relevant process is.
1.4 General relativistic study of BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium states
There are two computational tasks necessary to deeply understand the nature of the final coalescence phase of BHNS binaries. One of the important tasks is to quantitatively determine the tidaldeformation effect on the orbital evolution in the late inspiral phase and the criterion for the onset of mass shedding (which is a necessary condition for tidal disruption). Determining the degree of the tidal deformation in close orbits is a crucial task for deriving phenomenological twobody equations of motion including the tidaldeformation effect (e.g., [50]).
In the framework of Newtonian gravity, a lot of effort was devoted to qualitatively determining the degree of the tidal deformation, its effects on the orbital motion, and the criterion of mass shedding [71, 111, 114, 213, 191, 217, 225, 94] as reviewed in Section 1.1. Although those approximate analyses are valuable for understanding the qualitative nature of coalescing close binaries, they cannot be appropriate for a quantitatively strict understanding, because coalescing BHNS binaries in close orbits are in a highly relativistic state. A fully generalrelativistic study is obviously required.
Motivated by this fact, numerical computations of quasiequilibrium states in general relativity have been performed in the past 5 years by several groups, after early attempts, which were done in an approximate formulation of extreme mass ratios [19, 207] or in a preliminary formulation [138]. The first results in general relativity were published in 2006 by three groups: Taniguchi and collaborators [208], Grandclément [82, 83], and Shibata and Uryū [202, 203]. All these works solved the Hamiltonian and momentum constraint equations, and some components of Einstein’s equation (see Section 2 in detail). The first two groups employed the excision formulation (in which the region inside the BH apparent horizon is excised from the computational domain) and the last one employed the movingpuncture formulation. However, those earlystage results were unsatisfactory for accurately studying quasiequilibrium sequences. Taniguchi and collaborators treated only mildlyrelativistic NS and the numerical computation was not very accurate. The numerical code by Grandclément included some mistakes and the results were not correct. Shibata and Uryū constructed BHNS binaries only including the corotating motion for the internal velocity field of the NS. However, in subsequent work, this situation was soon improved. Taniguchi and collaborators succeeded in accurately computing BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium [209] and investigated their nature in detail [210]; Grandclément corrected his numerical code [83], and derived results as accurate as those of Taniguchi et al.; Kyutoku et al. succeeded in constructing BHNS binaries with the irrotational velocity field for the NS [197, 106] developing a formulation originally proposed by Shibata and Uryū [202, 203]. All these groups computed sequences of quasiequilibrium states and studied the nature of BHNS binaries in close circular orbits (see Section 2).
Except for the early work of Shibata and Uryū [202, 203], all the computations have been done based on the spectral methods library, LORENE [79], because this enables highprecision computation, e.g., [27, 28, 84, 85]. (Note also that Grandclément and Taniguchi are two of the main developers of the LORENE library).
The CornellCaltech group also developed a numerical code, based on a spectral method for the precise computation of BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium states [75], extending their original code to BHBH binaries [158, 47, 40]. Up to now, this group has published quasiequilibrium sequences only for the equalmass case, which is not very realistic for BHNS binaries, although their results for a variety of BHNS binaries have been used as initial conditions for numericalrelativity simulations [58, 57, 74].
There are also two additional works on BHBH/BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium [216, 8]. However, these works primarily discuss a numerical method for computing BH binaries in quasiequilibrium, and do not shown any computational results for BHNS binaries. Hence, we do not review them in this article.
1.5 Nonrelativistic simulation for the merger
The other important task is to clarify the evolution process in the last inspiral and merger phases. For this purpose, the numerical simulation is the unique approach because (at least) nonlinear hydrodynamics including related physics has to be solved. The merger process of BHNS binaries was first studied in the framework of Newtonian or pseudoNewtonian gravity by several groups [95, 124, 123, 121, 122, 171, 169, 174]. These works have qualitatively clarified the tidal disruption process, the subsequent formation process of a BHdisk system, properties of the remnant accretion disk, gravitational waveforms emitted during the merger, and a fraction of matter ejected from the system. Earlier work [95, 124, 123, 121, 122, 171] was performed modeling BH by a point mass of Newtonian gravity. Because of the absence of the ISCO around the point mass in Newtonian gravity, the gravity in the vicinity of the BH was even qualitatively different from that in reality. They conclude that the NS might be tidally disrupted even in an orbit very close to the BH (well inside a radius of 6 GM_{BH}/c^{2}, which is unrealistic), and consequently, a massive remnant disk with mass larger than 0.1 M_{⊙} might be formed around the BH, irrespective of the mass ratio and the internal velocity field of the NS. In subsequent work [169, 174], the generalrelativistic gravity of the BH was partly mimicked employing the PaczyńskiWiita potential for the point mass [152]. In this work, it was found that massive disk formation with mass larger than 0.1 M_{⊙} was possible only for a binary system composed of a lowmass BH or of a spinning BH for the case that the BH mass is not low [174]. These properties are qualitatively in agreement with those derived in recent fully generalrelativistic simulations, and thus, for qualitatively or semiqualitatively understanding the nature of the BHNS merger, the pseudoNewtonian simulation is shown to be helpful. In recent years, approximately general relativistic simulations were also performed by two groups [64, 65, 164]. The derived qualitative features in the merger of BHNS binaries agree with those from pseudoNewtonian studies as well as by the general relativistic studies described in Section 3.
Simulations in [95] were carried out incorporating detailed microphysical processes such as finitetemperature EOS and neutrino emission employing a neutrino leakage scheme. The neutrino luminosity from the BHdisk system formed in their simulations was found to be 10^{53}–10^{54} ergs/s for the first 10–20 ms after the formation of the disks. This was the result for the case in which a hot and massive disk (of temperature ≳ 10 MeV and mass 0.2–0.7 M_{⊙}) is formed. The high neutrino luminosity is encouraging for driving a SGRB via neutrinoantineutrino pair annihilation process. As remarked upon above, the massive disk formation in their model parameters would unlikely if general relativistic effects had been correctly taken into account. The high temperature also does not agree with a latest fully general relativistic result in which the simulation was performed with a similar EOS [57]. However, the results of [95] suggested for the first time that if such a massive disk was indeed formed, the resulting BHdisk system was a promising candidate for the central engine of SGRB. Also, their technique for handling the neutrino emission process becomes a useful guideline for detailed numerical studies in full general relativity (e.g., [183, 185]).
1.6 Stable mass transfer occurs or not
One interesting question for the final phase of BHNS binaries is whether the stable mass transfer occurs in a close orbit; specifically, the question is whether the mass accretion from a NS to its companion BH proceeds for a time scale longer than the orbital period while escaping tidal disruption or merger. This could occur if the orbital separation does not decrease due to the presence of mass accretion. As discussed in several works and also indicated in the following, the answer is not trivial at all.
Clark and Eardley originally guessed that stable mass transfer could occur for a binary of mass ratio larger than a critical value (but smaller than a value determined by the presence of the ISCO; cf. Section 1.1), based on their analytic PN analysis [43]. In their analysis, the decrease of the orbital separation associated with gravitationalwave emission, which is one of the important processes in compact binaries of close orbits (see Equation (2)), was not taken into account. Cameron and Iben showed the importance of the gravitational radiation reaction for the onset of the stable mass transfer even in the close binary of white dwarfs [38, 22]. In addition, Benz et al. [22] show that if the stripped mass of a massshedding star forms a disk around the companion primary star (or contributes to the spinup of the companion), the condition for the onset of the stable mass transfer is further restricted (see below).
The condition for the onset of stable mass transfer is roughly derived applying the analysis method of [38, 22] to BHNS binaries. Here we will derive the approximate condition, briefly showing the essence of their analysis method. In the following, the analysis is performed in the Newtoniangravity framework (except for the incorporation of the gravitational radiation reaction), and we assume that the mass element is not lost from the system nor forms a common envelope for simplicity; the material stripped from a massshedding NS is assumed to fall into the companion BH or to form the disk surrounding the BH, because this is indeed the case as found in general relativistic simulations. We also assume that the NS radius does not change, because it indeed depends only weakly on the NS mass as long as the mass is larger than ∼ 0.4 M_{⊙} (e.g., [116, 186] and Figure 10). For a very lowmass NS, the radius steeply increases with decreasing NS mass. We do not consider such a lowmass NS here.
Many Newtonian simulations, even when including the gravitational radiation reaction by the quadrupole formula, have found that stable mass transfer occurs (e.g., the works by Janka et al. and Rosswog et al. [95, 171]). Their results agree in a sense with that in early predictions such as in [43]. Janka et al. [95] show that the presence of the gravitational radiation reaction slightly prevents stable mass transfer, but this is not a very strong effect. However, their subsequent work [169, 174] shows that the discovery of stable mass transfer seems to be due to the lack of correct general relativistic physics. They performed an improved simulation in which general relativistic corrections to the gravity of the BH were phenomenologically taken into account via a pseudoNewtonian prescription and showed that stable mass transfer was unlikely to occur, at least for the parameter space they considered. This shows that the gravitational radiation reaction alone does not prevent stable mass transfer, but this plus the strong twobody gravitational force in general relativity does. Remember that in the presence of general relativistic twobody effects, the onset of mass shedding outside the ISCO is possible only for a small value of Q, although for the stable mass transfer, a high value of Q is required. This conclusion agrees with the results in fully general relativistic simulations (see Section 3). General relativistic simulations, in which the mass accretion process to a BH is accurately followed, also show that the accretion of the stripped mass is used to spin up the BH. This is also an important property for preventing the onset of stable mass transfer (see Section 3).
It is worth noting that numerical simulations for BHNS binaries with both a high BH spin with a > 0.9 and a high mass ratio with Q ≥ 10 have not been performed yet. For such a case, a strong repulsive force associated with spinorbit coupling is likely to decrease the orbital radius of the ISCO and also to increase the inspiral time scale in a close orbit. This effect may help the onset of stable mass transfer, and thus, further studies are still required on this topic.
1.7 General relativistic study of late inspiral and merger
As illustrated above, general relativistic effects (the general relativistic attractive force between two bodies and resulting presence of the ISCO, spinorbit coupling effect, and the general relativistic selfgravity in the NS) play a crucial role in the dynamics of a close binary system of a BH and a NS. Up to merger, the dynamics are primarily determined by the strong general relativistic gravity, and thus, the orbital evolution in a close binary, the merger and tidal disruption processes, the criterion of tidal disruption, and the evolution of the tidallydisrupted NS material depend strongly on general relativistic effects. Numerical computation in a fully general relativistic framework is obviously required for accurately and quantitatively understanding the nature of orbital evolution and the merger of BHNS binaries; although nongeneralrelativistic works have provided a qualitative insight for these systems. Fortunately, the simulation in full general relativity is not a difficult task any longer, as reviewed in this paper. Now there is no reason to employ approximate frameworks for the study of this system.
Since 2005, which was the breakthrough year in the field of numerical relativity, the simulation of binaries composed of BHs has been feasible. Soon after the first success for the simulation of BHBH binaries [162], work on the merger of BHNS binaries was published [202, 203, 197, 62, 58, 63, 194, 57, 107, 108, 41, 74, 154, 109]. Shibata and his collaborators (hereafter the Kyoto/Tokyo (KT) group) performed a fully general relativistic simulation for a BHNS binary merger for the first time, extending their earlier works for NSNS binaries [193, 200, 201, 198, 199, 196]. Soon after the success of the KT group, the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (UIUC) and Caltech/Cornell/CITA/Washington State University (CCCW) groups also performed simulations for BHNS binary merger. The UIUC group extended their earlier work on NSNS binaries [59], and the CCCW group extended their work for BHBH binaries [30, 31, 181] incorporating the hydrodynamics equation solvers [57]. Subsequently, several scientific results have been derived recently by these groups. In addition, in 2010, the Louisiana State University/Brigham Young University/Perimeter Institute/Long Island University/Indiana University (LBPLI) and Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) groups published their first results for the BHNS binary merger [41, 154]. All these groups will report with more sophisticated physics incorporating nucleartheorybased EOS, microphysical processes, and magneticfield effects in the near future. Thus, in the following sections, we focus only on reviewing the current status of the general relativistic studies (see also [56] for a review of the latest status of this field in 2010).
1.8 Outline and notation
This review is organized as follows. In Section 2, we review the current status of the study of quasiequilibrium states of BHNS binaries in general relativity. First, the formalisms for a solution of quasiequilibrium states are described and then the resulting solution, its sequence, and implications are summarized. In Section 3, we review the current status of the numericalrelativity study of BHNS binaries. In Section 3.1, we summarize the formulations, procedures, and numerical implementations employed in numerical simulations. In Section 3.2, the parameter space (composed of masses of BH and NS, BH spin, and the EOS of NS) investigated so far is summarized. In Sections 3.3–3.7, the numerical results for the evolution process throughout the late inspiral to the merger, tidal disruption processes, properties of the remnant formed after the merger, and features of gravitational waveforms and gravitationalwave spectra are summarized. We recommend that readers who are interested only in these simulation results read Section 3.3–3.7.
g _{ μν }   the spacetime metric, 
γ_{ μν } ≡ g_{ μν } + n_{ μ }n_{ ν }   the three metric on a three dimensional hypersurface Σt, 
n ^{ μ }   the timelike unit hypersurface normal, 
K _{ ij }   the extrinsic curvature on Σ_{ t }, 
K   the trace of the extrinsic curvature, 
α   the lapse function, 
β ^{ i }   the shift vector, 
g   the determinant of g_{ μν }, 
γ   the determinant of γ_{ ij }; \(\sqrt { g} = \alpha \sqrt y\), 
∇_{ μ }   the covariant derivative associated with g_{ μν }, 
D _{ i }   the covariant derivative associated with γ_{ ij }, 
T ^{ μν }   the stress energy momentum tensor, 
ρ   the baryon restmass density, 
ε   the specific internal energy of the fluid, 
P   the pressure of the fluid, 
\(h \equiv 1 + \varepsilon + {P \over \rho}\)   the specific enthalpy of the fluid, 
k   the polytropic constant, 
Γ   the adiabatic index, 
u ^{ μ }   the four velocity of the fluid, 
M_{NS} and M_{BH}   the gravitational masses of NS and BH in isolation, 
M _{b}   the baryon rest mass of NS, 
m_{0} ≡ M_{ns} + M_{BH}   the total mass at infinite separation, 
\(a \equiv {{c{J_{{\rm{BH}}}}} \over {GM_{{\rm{BH}}}^2}}\)   the nondimensional spin of BH, 
J _{BH}   the spin angular momentum of BH, 
\({\mathcal C} \equiv {{G{M_{{\rm{NS}}}}} \over {{c^2}{R_{{\rm{NS}}}}}}\)   the compactness of NS in isolation, 
R _{NS}   the circumferential radius of spherical NS, 
Ω   the orbital angular velocity, 
f   the frequency of gravitational waves, 
λ   the wavelength of gravitational waves. 
2 QuasiEquilibrium States
In this section, we first review formulations to construct BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium, and then the representative numerical results derived so far.
2.1 Formulation
For a solution of BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium, it is at least necessary to solve Einstein’s constraint equations and relativistic hydrostationary equations, supplemented by NS EOS. To derive a better model of quasiequilibrium states, a part of Einstein’s evolution equation is also solved with an additional assumption. Until now, two approaches have been proposed to constructing BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium. The main difference in those approaches comes from the method for handling the BH singularity. In one approach the BH singularity is eliminated from the computational domain by excising a coordinate sphere and by imposing equilibrium BH boundary conditions [47] (see also [10, 81] for a related isolatedhorizon formalism). In the other approach, a BH is handled as a puncture [32]. In this approach, the metric quantities are decomposed into a singular part, which is written analytically and denotes contributions from a BH and a regular part, which is obtained by numerically solving the corresponding basic equations.
These two methods are separately explained below because they give different formulas. We refer to [208, 209, 210] for the excision approach and to [202, 203, 106] for the puncture one. For a more detailed discussion of the decomposition of Einstein’s equation and the formalism, we refer to [29, 231, 44], and for the hydrostatics [80, 214, 219].
2.1.1 Formulation in the excision approach
The set of Equations (28)–(31) has four functions that can be chosen freely; \({\partial _t}{{\tilde \gamma}^{ij}}\), ∂_{ t }K, \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\), and K. For computing quasiequilibrium states, one usually assumes the presence of a helical Killing vector, ξ^{ μ }, and the absence of gravitational waves in the wave zone. Under these assumptions, it is natural to choose the time direction so as to satisfy ξ^{ μ } = (∂/∂t)^{ μ } (in the comoving frame), and to set \({\partial _t}{{\tilde \gamma}^{ij}}\) and ∂_{ t }K = 0. For the choice of K and \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\), two ways have been proposed. The first one is to choose a maximal slicing K = 0 and to adopt a flat metric \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}} = {f_{ij}}\), for simplicity. The other choice is to use the KerrSchild metric for \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\) and K in the vicinity of the BH or in the whole computational space. One of the advantages of choosing maximal slicing and the flat metric background is that the source term becomes simple and falls off rapidly for r → ∞ enough to obtain accurate results. The disadvantage is that it is not possible to construct the Kerr BH even with a distant orbit, and moreover, the set of Equations (28)–(31) may have nonunique solutions [159, 17, 224]. In particular, the spin of a BH has two values for the same spin parameter Ω_{ r } (see Equation (49) for the definition) [132]. The lower branch of the spin as a function of Ω_{ r }, which should be physically reasonable because it approaches to the Schwarzschild BH as Ω_{ r } → 0, can reach only a ≈ 0.85, much less than the maximum spin of a Kerr BH. The advantage of using the KerrSchild metric for \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\) and K is that one can calculate a spinning BH with nearly maximum spin, a ≃ 1. The disadvantage is that the source term becomes complicated and falls off slowly for r → ∞. Because of this situation, it is not easy to derive the results as accurately as those with the conformal three metric, if one adopts this background metric in the whole computational space [208]. To recover the accuracy, a modification of the KerrSchild metric seems to be necessary; the metric is chosen to be nearly the KerrSchild one in the vicinity of the BH, whereas away from the BH, the metric should approach exponentially a conformallyflat metric and a maximal slicing [75, 132].
2.1.2 Formulation in the puncture approach
A “puncture” method [32] was proposed by Brandt and Brügmann to describe multiple BH with arbitrary linear momenta and spin angular momenta, extending the original work by Brill and Lindquist [33]. A “movingpuncture approach” [39, 15] was revealed to be quite useful in dynamic simulations. Here, we describe the puncture approach for quasiequilibrium in the context of BHNS binaries, which was originally developed by Shibata and Uryū [202, 203] and subsequently modified by Kyutoku et al. [106]. The puncture approach employs a mixture of the conformal thinsandwich decomposition and the conformal transversetraceless decomposition of Einstein’s equations. The trace part of the extrinsic curvature is set to zero (maximal slicing) and the three metric is assumed to be conformally flat in the work so far.
In contrast to the case in which the excision approach is adopted, the inner boundary conditions do not have to be imposed in the puncture approach. This could be a drawback in this approach, because one cannot impose physical boundary conditions (e.g., Killing horizon boundary conditions) for the BH. However, this could also be an advantage, because we do not have to impose a special condition for the geometric variables, and as a result, flexibility for adjusting a quasiequilibrium state to a desired state is preserved.
2.1.3 Hydrostatic equations
The hydrostatic equations governing quasiequilibrium states are the Euler and continuity equations. The matter in the NS interior needs to satisfy those equations. There are several versions for deriving the hydrostatic equations [26, 9, 192, 215, 80, 204]. In this section, we review the version in [204, 219].
Finally, we comment on the prescription for determining the constant in the righthand side of Equation (77). For this task, the central value of the quantities in the lefthand side is usually used. Here the center of the NS is defined as the location of the maximum baryon restmass density. Equation (77) includes one more constant, which should be determined for each quasiequilibrium figure; the orbital angular velocity as found from Equations (24), (69), (74), and (82). The method for calculating it will be explained in the next Section 2.1.4.
2.1.4 Orbital angular velocity
The first integral of the Euler equation (77) includes information of the orbital angular velocity, Ω, through Equations. (24), (69), (74), and (82). Ω should be determined from the condition that a binary system is in a quasiequilibrium circular orbit. In the following, we describe two typical methods referring to the rotation axis of the binary system as the Zaxis and to the axis connecting the BH’s and NS’s centers as the Xaxis.
In the other method, Ω is determined by requiring the enthalpy at two points on the NS’s surface along the Xaxis to be equal to h = 1 on the surface. At these two points, the pressure is absent. Namely, the sum of the gravitational force from the BH, selfgravitational force from the NS, and the centrifugal force associated with the orbital motion is balanced. These two conditions may be regarded as the conditions that determine C_{E} and Ω, and thus, Ω can be determined for a given set of gravitational field variables. The work by Taniguchi et al. [208, 209, 210, 214] confirmed that in both methods, an accurate numerical result can be computed with a reasonable number of iterations, and that the results by these two methods coincide within the convergence level of the enthalpy. Therefore, both methods work well.
2.1.5 Center of mass of a binary system
In the puncture approach, the situation is totally different from the above, because Condition (85) has already been used to calculate the linear momentum of the BH; see Equation (58) in Section 2.1.2. In this framework, there is no known natural, physical condition for determining the center of mass of the system. Until now, three methods have been employed to determine the center of mass. In the first method, the dipole part of ψ at spatial infinity is required to be zero [202, 203]. However, it was found that in this condition, the angular momentum derived for a close orbit of Ωm_{0} ≥ 0.03 is ∼ 2% smaller than that derived by the 3PN approximation for Q = 3. Because the 3PN approximation should be an excellent approximation of general relativity for a fairly distant orbit, as such Ωm_{0} ≈ 0.03, the obtained initial data deviates from the true quasicircular state, and hence, the initial orbit would be eccentric.
In the second method, the azimuthal component of the shift vector β^{ ϕ } at the location of the puncture is required to be equal to −Ω; a corotating gauge condition at the location of the puncture is imposed [197]. This method gives a slightly better result than that of the first method. However, the angular momentum derived for a close orbit of Ωm_{0} ≥ 0.03 is also ∼ 2% smaller than that derived by the 3PN relation for a larger mass ratio Q ≥ 2. The disagreement is larger for the larger mass ratio. Such initial conditions are likely to deviate from the true quasicircular state and hence the orbital eccentricity is large as well.
In the last method, the center of mass is determined in a phenomenological manner: One imposes a condition that the total angular momentum of the binary system for a given value of Ωm_{0} agrees with that derived by the 3PN approximation [106]. This condition can be achieved by appropriately choosing the position of the center of mass. With this method, the drawback in the previous two methods, i.e., the angular momentum becoming smaller than the expected value, is overcome. Recent numerical simulations by the KT group have been performed employing initial conditions obtained by this method, and showed that the binary orbit is not very eccentric with these initial conditions (cf. Section 3.1.1).
2.1.6 Equations of state
Even though the EOS used for constructing sequences is only the polytrope, a lot of quasiequilibria with several EOS have been derived as initial data for the merger simulations. We will summarize those initial data in Section 3.1.1.
2.1.7 Physical quantities
The several key quantities that are necessary in the quantitative analysis of quasiequilibrium sequences are summarized in this section; the irreducible mass and spin of BH, the baryon rest mass of NS, the ADM mass, the Komar mass, and the total angular momentum of the system. It is reasonable to consider that the irreducible mass and spin of the BH and the baryon rest mass of the NS are conserved during the inspiral of BHNS binaries. In addition, temperature and entropy of the NS may be assumed to be approximately zero because the thermal effects of notyoung NS are negligible to their structure, i.e., it is reasonable to use a fixed cold EOS throughout the sequence. For such a sequence, the ADM mass, the Komar mass, and the total angular momentum of the system vary with the decrease of the orbital separation. These global quantities characterize the quasiequilibrium sequence.
Summary for the study of quasiequilibrium sequences.
(1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)  (7) 

Taniguchi et al. (2006) [208]  KS  Ir  Ex  0  0.088  5 
Taniguchi et al. (2007) [209]  CF, M  Ir  Ex  0  0.088, 0.145  1, 2, 3, 5, 10 
Taniguchi et al. (2008) [210]  CF, M  Ir  Ex  0  0.109, 0.120, 0.132,  1 ∼ 9 
0.145, 0.160, 0.178  
Grandclément  CF, M  Ir  Ex  0  0.075, 0.100, 0.125,  5 
0.150  
Shibata & Uryū (2006) [202]  CF, M  Co  Pu  0  0.139  2.47 
Shibata & Uryū (2007) [203]  CF, M  Co  Pu  0  0.139, 0.148  2.47, 3.08 
Kyutoku et al. (2009) [106]  CF, M  Ir  Pu  0  0.132, 0.145, 0.160  1, 3, 5 
CF, M  Ir  Ex  0  0.144  1  
Foucart et al. (2008) [75]  KS  Ir  Ex  0  0.144  1 
KS  Ir  Ex  −0.5  0.144  1 
2.1.7.1 The irreducible mass of the BH
In the framework of the excision approach, \({\mathcal S}\) corresponds to the excision surface. On the other hand, it is necessary to determine the apparent horizon in the framework of the puncture approach (although it is not a difficult task).
2.1.7.2 The spin of the BH
2.1.7.3 The rest mass of the NS
2.1.7.4 The ADM mass of the system
2.1.7.5 The Komar mass of the system
2.1.7.6 The total angular momentum of the system
2.1.8 A massshedding indicator
2.2 Current parameter space surveyed
 (1)
The EOS of the NS
 (2)
The spatial background metric \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\) and the extrinsic curvature K
The notation of “CF” means the conformallyflat condition \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}} = {f_{ij}}\), and that of “M” denotes the maximal slicing K = 0.
The notation of “KS” means the KerrSchild metric. In this case, the extrinsic curvature K is also set to that derived from the KerrSchild metric.
 (3)
The state of the fluid flow in the NS
The notation of “Co” means a corotating NS, and that of “Ir” denotes an irrotational NS.
 (4)
The method to handle the BH, i.e., the excision or the puncture
The notation of “Pu” means the puncture approach, and that of “Ex” denotes the excision approach.
 (5)
The BH spin a
 (6)
The compactness of the NS \({\mathcal S}\)
 (7)
The mass ratio Q
As found in Table 1, the surveyed parameter space is quite narrow, in particular for the EOS of the NS and the BH spin; complete sequences with a ≠ 0 have not yet been derived, and moreover, BHNS binaries in quasiequilibrium in which the BH spin takes a high value > 0.9 or the BH spin and orbital angular momentum vector misalign have not been studied yet. These are issues left for the future. For the initial data of the merger simulation, a slightly wider parameter space has been employed. We will summarize this in Section 3.1.1.
2.3 Numerical results
Several works, summarized in Table 1, have been done to calculate quasiequilibrium sequences. In this section, we focus on the results reported in [210] because a systematic survey for a wider parameter space was done only there.
2.3.1 Binding energy and total angular momentum
2.4 Endpoint of sequences
One of the most important questions in the context of BHNS binaries is whether the coalescence leads to mass shedding of the NS before reaching an ISCO, or whether the NS is swallowed by the BH before the onset of mass shedding. This question arises from the perspective of gravitationalwave observations and from the relation with SGRB. Gravitational waveforms in the final inspiral phase depend strongly on this issue, and hence, a precise understanding of this is necessary to predict gravitational waveforms theoretically. For launching a SGRB, the formation of an accretion disk surrounding the BH is one of the most promising models, and can occur only if the NS is disrupted prior to reaching an ISCO.
Exploring this issue quantitatively requires dynamic simulations, and the results of such simulations are reviewed in Section 3. However, the study of quasiequilibrium sequences can also provide a guide to where separation mass shedding or dynamic merger occurs. In the following, we summarize the quantitative insights obtained from the study of quasiequilibrium sequences. Specifically, we will review qualitative expressions that may be used to predict whether a BHNS binary of arbitrary mass ratio and NS compactness encounters an ISCO before shedding mass or not.
2.4.1 Massshedding limit
First, we summarize the results for the binary separation and the orbital angular velocity at which mass shedding from the NS surface occurs. In Newtonian gravity and semirelativistic approaches, simple equations may be introduced to fit the effective radius of a Roche lobe [225, 94, 151, 60]. In [202, 203] a fitting equation is introduced for binaries composed of a nonspinning BH and a corotating NS in general relativity. In this section, we review how to derive a fitting equation from data in [210] for a nonspinning BH and an irrotational NS.
It may be interesting to note that the value of C_{Ω} = 0.270 is the same as that found for quasiequilibrium sequences of NSNS binaries in general relativity in [214] and of BHNS binaries in general relativity where the NS is corotating in [202, 203]. The value of C_{Ω} = 0.270 could be widely used for an estimation of the orbital angular velocity at the massshedding limit of NS in a relativistic binary system with Γ = 2.
2.4.2 Innermost stable circular orbit
One of the most important pieces of information for relativistic close binaries is the binary separation (or the orbital angular velocity) at which the minimum of the binding energy appears, corresponding to the ISCO. The minimum point is located by fitting three nearby points of the sequence to a secondorder polynomial, because the numerical data is discrete and does not necessarily give the exact minimum.
2.4.3 Critical mass ratio
2.5 Summary: quasiequilibrium states
In this section, we have given an overview of the current status of the study of quasiequilibrium BHNS binary sequences in general relativity. Broadly speaking, two formulations have been proposed to construct quasiequilibrium BHNS binaries. The difference in these formulations comes primarily from the difference in the method for handling the BH singularity, the excision approach or the puncture approach. In these formulations, only five of ten components of Einstein’s equation are solved: constraint equations and the slicing condition. Deriving an improved formulation, in which full components of Einstein’s equation are solved, is left for the future (but see [204, 46] for proposed formulations and [218, 219] for a study of NSNS binaries).
For the quasiequilibrium sequences numerically derived so far, we mainly review those in [210], because it is the only systematic study. In particular, we highlight a curve of the critical mass ratio, which separates BHNS binaries that encounter an ISCO before reaching mass shedding, and vice versa, as a function of the compactness of the NS. The result is shown in Equation (104) and in Figure 9. Such a critical curve clearly classifies the possible final fate of BHNS binaries, which depends on the ratio and the compactness of the NS for a given EOS of NS and BH spin.
As seen in Table 1, the parameter space surveyed so far is quite narrow. A systematic study of quasiequilibrium sequences has been done only for binaries composed of a nonspinning BH and an irrotational NS with Γ = 2 polytropic EOS. It is desirable that the remaining parameter space is systematically surveyed near the future. Systematic numerical results for such a study will be quite helpful for predicting the final fate of BHNS binaries and for checking the results derived in numerical simulations. Specifically, it is necessary to study in detail quasiequilibrium sequences of binaries composed of a spinning BH and a NS with an EOS other than single polytrope.
3 Numerical Simulations
By the year 2010, five groups — AEI, CCCW, KT, LBPLI, and UIUC groups — have succeeded in fully generalrelativistic simulations for BHNS binaries and provided a variety of the numerical results. The results of these groups agree qualitatively with each other and have clarified the basic picture for the merger and tidal disruption processes, although quantitatively, minor differences (e.g., on the remnant disk mass) have been reported. They have provided the criteria for tidal disruption, the final mass and spin of the BH left after the merger, the remnant disk mass, gravitational waveforms, and gravitationalwave spectrum. In the following sections, we review the methods of numerical relativity employed in these groups, the basic picture of the merger and tidal disruption processes clarified to date, and the resulting gravitational waveforms and spectra, separately.
3.1 Numerical method
3.1.1 Initial condition
 (1)
The EOS of the NS
The notation of “Γ = 2” or “Γ = 2.75” means the single polytropic EOS with an adiabatic index of Γ = 2 or Γ = 2.75.
The notations of “PwPoly” and “SH” mean the piecewise polytropic EOS and the Shen’s EOS, respectively.
 (2)
The spatial background metric \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}} = {f_{ij}}\) and the extrinsic curvature K
The notation of “CF” means the conformallyflat condition \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\), and that of “M” means the maximal slicing K = 0.
The notation of “KS” indicates the KerrSchild metric. In this case, the extrinsic curvature K is also set to that derived from the KerrSchild metric.
 (3)
The state of the fluid flow in the NS
The notation of “Co” means a corotating NS, and that of “Ir” an irrotational NS.
 (4)
The method to treat the BH, i.e., the moving puncture or the excision
The notations of “Pu” and “Ex” mean that the movingpuncture and the excision approaches are used in the numerical simulation, respectively. “ExPu” means that the initial condition is prepared in the excision approach, but the simulation is done in the movingpuncture formulation (see below).
 (5)
Presence or absence of the BH spin a and misalignment angle θ between the spin axis and orbital angular momentum vector.
 (6)
The mass ratio Q
Quasiequilibrium study groups by which the initial data of each simulation group is supplied.
Summary of the initial data used in simulations performed so far. Note that LBPLI’s data includes magnetic fields.
Group & Ref.  (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6) 

KT [202]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Co  Pu  a = 0  Q ≈ 2.5 
KT [203]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Co  Pu  a = 0  Q ≈ 2.5, 3.1 
KT [197]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  Pu  a = 0  Q ≈ 2.5, 3.1 
KT [228]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  Pu  a = 0  Q ≈ 3.1 
KT [194]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  Pu  a = 0  Q = 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5 
KT [107]  PwPoly  CF, M  Ir  Pu  a = 0  Q = 2, 3 
KT [109]  PwPoly  CF, M  Ir  Pu  a = 0,−0.5, 0.25, 0.5, 0.75  Q = 2, 3, 4, 5 
UIUC [62]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  ExPu  a = 0  Q = 2, 3 
UIUC [63]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  ExPu  a = 0 −0.5, 0.75  Q = 1, 3, 5 
CCCW [58]  Γ = 2  KS  Ir  Ex  a = 0  Q = 1 
CCCW [57]  Γ = 2, 2.75, SH  KS  Ir  Ex  a = 0.5  Q = 3 
CCCW [74]  Γ = 2  KS  Ir  Ex  a = 0, 0.5, 0.9  Q = 3 
θ = 0, 20, 40, 60, 80°  
LBPLI [41]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  Ex  a = 0.5  Q = 5 
AEI [154]  Γ = 2  CF, M  Ir  ExPu  a = 0  Q = 5 
When a quasiequilibrium configuration constructed by the excision approach is used as initial data for a simulation code based on the movingpuncture approach, one more step is needed before starting the simulations because the data inside the BH excision surface does not exist, and thus, one needs to fill the BH interior by extrapolating all field values radially from the excision surface toward the BH center. In the extrapolation procedure, one has to employ a method in which any constraint violation introduced inside the BH is not allowed to affect the exterior spacetime. Two groups proposed such a procedure [34, 61], and the UIUC group used the method they developed in their simulations [61].
Strictly speaking, the quasiequilibrium derived in the framework of Section 2 is not realistic because an approaching radial velocity driven by gravitational radiation reaction is not taken into account. If we adopt such quasiequilibrium data as the initial condition, the trajectories obtained in the numerical simulation usually result in a slightly eccentric orbit. One prescription to suppress this error is to choose an initial condition in which the binary separation is large enough that the effect of the radial velocity is not serious. Another method to reduce the eccentricity was proposed by the CCCW group [157, 75] as described in the following.
3.1.2 Evolving metric
There are currently two formalisms for evolving the spacetime metric. One is the BaumgarteShapiroShibataNakamura (BSSN) formalism [140, 195, 18] together with the movingpuncture gauge condition [39, 15, 35, 136], and the other is the generalized harmonic (GH) formalism [129] (see also [77, 86, 162, 163]). The AEI, KT, and UIUC groups employ the BSSN formalism, while the CCCW and LBPLI [6] groups use the GH formalism. These two formalisms are different from the standard 3+1 formalism [230], which was found to be inappropriate in numerical relativity because stable and longterm numerical simulations are not feasible due to the presence of an unphysical growth mode excited even by a tiny numerical truncation error.
The BSSN formalism, the original version of which was first proposed by Nakamura in 1987 [140], is in a sense a modified version of the 3+1 formalism [230]. The essence in this formalism is to adopt not only the three metric (γ_{ ij }) and the extrinsic curvature (K_{ ij }) but also a conformal factor of the three metric (ψ or ϕ = log(ψ) or W = ψ^{−2} or χ = ψ^{−4}), the trace part of the extrinsic curvature (K), and the first spatial derivative of the three metric (\({F_i} = {{\tilde \gamma}_{ij,j}}\) or \({{\tilde \Gamma}^i} =  {{\tilde \gamma}^{ij}}_{,j}\) where \({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}\) is the conformal three metric) as new independent variables, and then, to appropriately rewrite the basic equations using these new variables. With this prescription, the evolution equations for the conformal three metric, \({{\tilde \Gamma}^i}\), and the conformal traceless extrinsic curvature, Ã_{ ij } ≡ γ^{−1/3}(K_{ ij } − K_{ γij }/3), are written in the form of simple wave equations. This prescription leads to avoiding the spurious growth of unphysical modes by numerical truncation errors and enables one to perform a stable and longterm evolution for a variety of systems. Typical basic equations are described in Appendix A.
In both formalisms, the number of constraint equations is increased as a result of defining the new variables, in addition to the Hamiltonian and momentum constraints. For the BSSN formalism, \({\rm det}({{\tilde \gamma}_{ij}}) = 1,{{\tilde \gamma}^{ij}}{{\tilde A}_{ij}} = 0\), and \({{\tilde \Gamma}^i} + {{\tilde \gamma}^{ij}}_{,j} = 0\) or \({\kappa _i}\rho _i^{{\Gamma _i}} = {\kappa _i}_{+ 1}\rho _i^{{\Gamma _{i + 1}}}\) are new constraints. For the GH formalism, D_{ iμν } − ∂_{ i }g_{ μν } = 0 is a new constraint.
3.1.3 Evolving a black hole
For handling a BH, the original BSSN formalism was not satisfactory. Redefining a spatial conformal factor [39], adopting more than fourthorder finitedifferencing schemes, and employing an appropriate movingpuncture gauge condition [39, 15, 221, 35] are required for evolving BHs accurately and stably. In such a BSSNpuncture formulation, we choose a BH spacetime, which is free of the true singularity [32]. Although a coordinate singularity may appear in the center of the BH, this can be effectively (and, in a sense, fortunately) excised in the movingpuncture gauge condition [88]. Consequently, one can evolve the whole computational region without artificially excising inside the BH horizon (i.e., without special numerical treatments for the inside of the BH horizon).
On the other hand, in the code of the CCCW and LBPLI groups using GH formalism, the gauge, similar to the movingpuncture gauge, has not yet been developed. These groups employ the excision technique, i.e., a region inside the apparent horizon is cut out of the computation domain and replaced with an inner boundary. Pretorius has successfully simulated orbiting BHBH binaries using the GH formalism with excision for the first time [162, 163]. Subsequently, the CCCW group has successfully simulated a longterm inspiral and merger of BHBH binaries using a highaccuracy spectral method [181, 206], verifying that this technique is also robust for handling BH spacetimes.
3.1.4 Hydrodynamics
3.1.5 Equations of state
Employing realistic EOS for modeling NS is a key ingredient in accurately determining the final fate after the onset of the merger and in deriving realistic gravitational waveforms in the merger phase. However, the EOS of the nuclear matter beyond the normal nuclear density is still uncertain due to the lack of strong constraints obtained from experiments and observations (e.g., [115, 116, 117] and see [51] for a recent devlopment). Hence, we do not know exactly the detailed physical state of NS such as density and composition profiles as functions of radius for a given mass and the relation between the mass and the radius.
Gravitational waveforms emitted in the tidaldisruption phase as well as properties of the remnant BHdisk system such as the mass and the typical density of the disk depend strongly on the EOS, as shown in the following. The primary reason for this is that these depend strongly on the relation between the mass and the radius of the NS, the sensitivity of a NS to the tidal force by its companion BH depends primarily on its radius, e.g., a NS of larger radii (with a stiffer EOS) will be disrupted at a larger orbital separation (or a lower orbital frequency; see equations in Section 1); if the tidal disruption of a NS occurs at a larger distance, more material will be widely spread around its companion BH, and consequently, a highmass remnant disk is likely to be formed; also, the gravitationalwave frequency at tidal disruption, which will be one of the characteristic frequencies, is lower for a NS of larger radius.
In the study of binaries composed of NS, rather than require one to prepare a “realistic” EOS, we should consider exploring the possibility of determining the NS EOS by gravitationalwave observation, as discussed in [127, 220, 168, 70]. For this purpose, we need to prepare theoretical templates of gravitational waves employing a wide variety of possible EOS for the NS matter, and systematically perform a wide variety of simulations employing a large number of plausible EOS. Then, the next task is to determine what kinds of EOS should be employed in their theoretical work.
Thermal energy per baryon inside NS, except for newlyborn ones, is believed to be much lower than the Fermi energy of the constituent particles, because a young NS is quickly cooled down by neutrino emission (e.g., [116, 99]). This implies that we can safely neglect thermal effects on the NS in the inspiral and early merger phases, and can employ a cold EOS, for which the pressure, P, the specific internal energy, ε, and other thermodynamic quantities are written as functions of the restmass density ρ. In particular, employing the cold EOS is appropriate for the case in which the merger does not result in the formation of a disk surrounding the remnant BH, i.e., for the case in which the NS is simply swallowed by the companion BH, because a heating process, such as shock heating, never plays a role. By contrast, to follow a longterm evolution of tidally disrupted material, which forms a disk around the remnant BH, the finitetemperature effects of the EOS and the neutrino cooling have to be taken into account. This is because the temperature of the disk material is likely to be increased significantly by shock or a longterm viscous heating, while the density of the disk is lower than that of the NS, and as a result, the Fermi energy is lowered, resulting in a situation where the roles of the pressures by degenerate electrons and thermal gas become less important and increasingly important, respectively.
At each boundary density, ρ = ρ_{ i } (i = 1, ⋯, n − 1), the pressure is required to be continuous, i.e., \({\mathcal C} = {M_{{\rm{NS}}}}/{R_{{\rm{NS}}}}\). Thus, if one gives k_{1}, Γ_{ i }, and ρ_{ i } (i = 1, ⋯, n), the EOS is totally determined. For the zerotemperature EOS, the first law of thermodynamics (dε = −Pd(1/ρ) or dh = dP/ρ) holds, and thus, ε and h are also determined except for the choice of the integration constants, which are fixed by the continuity condition of ε (hence equivalently h) at each ρ_{ i }.
The parameters and key ingredients for a piecewise polytropic EOS employed in [107]. Γ_{2} is the adiabatic index in the core region and p is the pressure at the fiducial density ρ_{fidu} = 10^{14.7} g/cm^{3}, which determines the polytropic constant κ_{2} of the core region and ρ_{1}: the critical restmass density separating the crust and core regions. M_{max} is the maximum mass of a spherical NS for a given EOS. R_{135} and \({{\mathcal C}_{135}}\) are the circumferential radius and the compactness of the NS with M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙}.
Model  Γ_{2}  log_{10}p [g/cm^{3}]  ρ_{1} [10^{14} g/cm^{3}]  M_{max} [M_{⊙}]  R_{135} [km]  \({{\mathcal C}_{135}}\) 

2H  3.0  13.95  0.7033  2.835  15.23  0.1309 
H  3.0  13.55  1.232  2.249  12.27  0.1624 
HB  3.0  13.45  1.417  2.122  11.61  0.1718 
HBs  2.7  13.45  1.069  1.926  11.57  0.1723 
HBss  2.4  13.45  0.6854  1.701  11.45  0.1741 
B  3.0  13.35  1.630  2.003  10.96  0.1819 
Bs  2.7  13.35  1.269  1.799  10.74  0.1856 
Bss  2.4  13.35  0.8547  1.566  10.27  0.1940 
3.1.6 Adaptive mesh refinement
Therefore, to efficiently perform a large number of numerical simulations with the finitedifferencing method, adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), such as that proposed by Berger and Oliger [23], is an indispensable technique. In this technique, one prepares several refinement levels of Cartesian boxes (or other geometrical domains) with different grid resolutions; usually in the smaller boxes, the grid resolution is higher. At such a fine refinement level, the BH and the NS are evolved with sufficiently high resolution with grid spacing ≲ Δ_{0}. On the other hand, the propagation of gravitational waves, which have a wavelength much longer than the size of the compact objects, is followed in largesize boxes (in the coarser levels) with a large grid spacing, which is still much smaller than the gravitational wavelength (say, ∼ λ/10).
Mesh refinement techniques in numerical relativity have been developed by several groups (e.g., [93, 182, 35, 228]). The AEI and UIUC groups use the <monospace>Carpet</monospace> module of the <monospace>Cactus</monospace> code [182] developed primarily by Schnetter, the KT group the <monospace>SACRA</monospace> code [228] developed by Yamamoto, and the <monospace>LBPLI</monospace> group the <monospace>HAD</monospace> code [7]. Recently, two independent codes (<monospace>Whisky</monospace>, which employs <monospace>Carpet</monospace>, and <monospace>SACRA</monospace>) were compared, performing simulations of NSNS binaries [14], and it was illustrated that the AMR scheme in <monospace>Carpet</monospace> and <monospace>SACRA</monospace> work well at the same level. The CCCW group employs a twogrid technique, which was originally proposed by the MeudonValenciaMPA team [52]. In this approach, geometricfield quantities are evolved with the multipatch pseudospectral method and the hydrodynamic equations are solved using a standard finitevolume scheme on a second grid [58]. In solving the equations for the geometric field, the computational domain encompassing the local wave zone is prepared, while the hydrodynamic equations are solved in the region where the matter presents.
3.2 Current parameter space surveyed
There are many free parameters that specify a BHNS binary; the mass and spin of the BH, and the mass of the NS. Furthermore, the EOS of the NS is still unknown, and thus, it should also be regarded as one of the free parameters. Here, the internal motion of the NS is believed to be close to an irrotational velocity field [24, 104] because the viscosity of the NS matter is too small to realize a corotational velocity field, and, in addition, the typical spin angular momentum of the NS (P_{rot} =0.1–1 s) is slow enough that we can safely assume that the NS spin is zero (because an orbital period of ≲ 10 ms for m_{0} ≲ 10 M_{⊙} is much shorter than P_{rot}). However, we have to accept a wide possible range for other parameters and EOS of NS. In particular, the mass and spin of a BH in a realistic binary system are totally unknown, and hence, a survey for a wide parameter space is required to fully understand the nature of BHNS coalescence and to derive a complete catalog of possible gravitational waveforms.
In the first phase, all groups employed the Γlaw EOS in the form P = (Γ − 1)ρε with the special value of Γ = 2, for which the initial condition is prepared by using the polytropic EOS P = κρ^{Γ}. In this EOS, physical parameters are nondimensional quantities such as mass ratio, Q = M_{BH}/M_{NS}, and compactness of the NS, \({\mathcal C}\), because κ can be freely chosen. Since 2009, several more plausible EOS have been employed by the KT and CCCW groups.
The early work of the KT group was done with the Γlaw EOS for a = 0 and for a wide range of Q and \(0.145 \leq {\mathcal C} \leq 0.178\); 1.5 ≤ Q ≤ 5 and \((Q,a,{\mathcal C})\). Since 2009, the KT group has employed a piecewise polytropic EOS [167, 150] with a wide variety of EOS parameters (see Table 4). Simulations have been systematically performed employing this EOS for a wide range of (\(0.12 \lesssim {\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.19\)) [107, 109]; 2 ≤ Q ≤ 5, −0.5 ≤ a ≤ 0.75, and \((Q,a,{\mathcal C})\). (Here, the negative value of the spin implies that the BH spin and orbital angular momentum vector are antiparallel.)
The simulations of the UIUC group were performed employing the Γlaw EOS with Γ = 2. The UIUC group has chosen in total nine parameter sets for (\({\mathcal C} = 0.088\)) as follows; Q = 1, 2, 3, and 5, a = 0, −0.5, and 0.75, and \((Q,a,{\mathcal C})\) and 0.145. Simulations were performed for the relatively small value of NS compactness.
The CCCW group performed simulations employing two types of EOS; Γlaw EOS with Γ = 2 and 2.75, and Shen’s EOS, which is a tabulated EOS derived in a relativistic mean field theory [188, 189]. They focused on special parameter sets of (\({\mathcal C} \approx 0.145\)) as Q = 1 and 3, a = 0 and 0.5, and \((Q,a,{\mathcal C}) = (5,0.5,0.1)\) and 0.174. In their latest work, they focused on the case Q = 3 and a = 0.5, paying particular attention to the dependence of the merger process on the EOS and on the misalignment angle of the BH spin and orbital angular momentum axes.
The LBPLI group has performed one simulation to date, using the Γlaw EOS with Γ = 2, and with (\({\mathcal C} = 0.1  0.17\)) = (5, 0.5, 0.1) [41]. In their first work, the compactness was chosen to be small and not very realistic. In this simulation, magnetic fields in the ideal magnetohydrodynamics MHD approximation were incorporated, but they did not play an important role. The AEI group has performed simulations using Γlaw EOS with Γ = 2, and with Q = 5, a = 0, and \({\mathcal C}\) [154].
To summarize, the total number of simulations is still small, although a systematic survey is required to fully understand the complete picture of the coalescence of BHNS binaries. In particular, many simulations were performed in a not very realistic setting using a simple Γlaw EOS and small values of \({\mathcal C} = 0.145\). As mentioned in Section 1, tidal disruption is more subject to the less compact NS, and hence, it should be in particular cautioned that a simulation with unphysicallysmall values of compactness may lead to an incorrect conclusion that tidal disruption and subsequent disk formation are easily achieved.
Nevertheless, the simulations performed so far have clarified a basic picture for the merger process of BHNS binaries, the properties for the remnant, gravitational waveforms, and gravitationalwave spectrum. In the following, we summarize our current understanding of these topics based on work to date.
3.3 Merger process
3.3.1 Zero BH spin
After tidal disruption occurs, the material of the NS forms a onearmed spiral. As a result of angular momentum transport in the arm, a large amount of material spreads outward, and after the spiral arm is wound from the differential rotation, a disk of approximately axisymmetric configuration is formed around the BH located approximately at the center. However, because of the presence of a nonaxisymmetric structure at its formation, however, the disk does not completely relax to an axisymmetric state in the rotational period ∼ 10 ms. Rather, a onearmed spiral of small amplitude is present for a long time, and helps gradually transporting angular momentum outward, resulting in a gradual mass infall into the BH. However, the mass accretion time scale is much longer than the rotational period, and hence, the disk remains quasistationary for;≫ 10 ms. This evolution process agrees qualitatively with that found in the study of the longterm evolution of BHdisk systems [90, 103].
The tidal disruption process as illustrated in Figure 11 is qualitatively common for the model with a lowmass BH or a largeradius NS or a highspin BH. However, quantitative details depend on the parameters of the binary. For a small mass ratio (Q ∼ 2) with a = 0, the typical size of the disk (the region with ρ > 10^{10} g/cm^{3}) is 50–100 km with maximum density ≳ 10^{12} g/cm^{3} for a disk of mass ∼ 0.1 M_{⊙} as shown in Figure 11. Thus, the disk is rather compact. The disk relaxes to a nearly axisymmetric configuration in a short time duration, approximately equal to the rotational period around the BH. We note that these properties depend on the parameter of the binary. For example, for a large mass ratio with a high BH spin (e.g., Q = 5 and a = 0.75), the typical size is also ∼ 100 km, but the maximum density is smaller than those for the smaller value of Q; the time scale until the disk relaxes to an axisymmetric configuration is relatively long. A remarkable point is that the tidal debris of relatively low density ∼ 10^{10} g/cm^{3} could be ejected to a distance of ≫ 100 km [63, 57, 41, 109], i.e., a wider but less dense disk is formed (see also Section 3.3.3).
Figure 12 illustrates the case in which the NS is not tidally disrupted before it is swallowed by the BH. For this model, M_{BH} = 4.05 M_{⊙}, a = 0, M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙}, and R_{NS} = 11.0 km (EOS B in Table 4). In this case, the NS is tidally deformed only in a close orbit. Then, mass shedding sets in for a too close orbit to induce subsequent tidal disruption outside the ISCO. As a result, most of the NS material falls into the BH approximately simultaneously. Also, the infall occurs from a narrow region of the BH horizon. These processes help exciting a nonaxisymmetric fundamental quasinormal mode (QNM) of the remnant BH. The mass of the disk formed after the onset of the merger is negligible (much smaller than 0.01 M_{⊙}), because the BH simply engulfs the NS.
Generally speaking, the final fate depends on the location where mass shedding of the NS sets in. If the location is in the vicinity of or inside the ISCO, most of the NS material falls into the companion BH, and a BH with negligible surrounding material is the outcome. With the increase of the orbital separation at the onset of mass shedding, the mass of the material surrounding the BH increases. Note again that the mass shedding has to set in sufficiently outside the ISCO to induce tidal disruption, because tidal disruption occurs only after substantial mass is removed from the NS.
3.3.2 Nonzero BH spin
The CCCW group subsequently studied the effects of BH spin on the final remnant with several EOS [57]. They reached a similar conclusion about the orbital evolution and final outcome to that of the UIUC group even for the case in which BH spin is slightly smaller, a = 0.5. This conclusion was reconfirmed also by the KT group [109] for a wide variety of piecewise polytropic EOS and mass ratios. Therefore, a moderately large BH spin, a = 0.5, is substantial enough for modifying the merger process and enhancing the disk formation. The CCCW group also performed a simulation with a = 0.9 and \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.18\) [74] and found that tidal disruption occurs far outside the ISCO and the resulting disk mass is very high, ∼ 36% of the total rest mass (see Section 3.4).
The KT group also found that [109] for binaries composed of a highspin BH (a = 0.75) and NS, tidal disruption may occur for a large value of mass ratio, Q ∼ 5, for a wide variety of NS EOS as far as it gives \({\mathcal C} = {(}0.144{)}  0.173\). This implies that tidal disruption of a NS may be possible for a large BH mass over a wide area. In such case, the material of the tidallyelongated NS is swallowed from a relatively narrow region of the BH surface. As will be discussed in Section 3.6, this helps excite a nonaxisymmetric fundamental QNM of the remnant BH. On the other hand, for the nonspinning BH case for which tidal disruption occurs only for a small BH, the material of a tidallyelongated NS is always swallowed by a wide region of the BH surface. This suppresses the excitation of nonaxisymmetric QNM. This difference is reflected in gravitational waveforms and spectra, as predicted in [177, 178] (in which a BH perturbation study was performed).
The type of merger process for a = 0.5 shown in Figure 16 is qualitatively new. Tidal disruption occurs in a relatively close orbit (in the vicinity of the BH ISCO). The subsequent evolution process is similar to that for a = 0.75, but the infall of dense NS material to the BH occurs from a relatively narrow region (see the second to fourth panels of Figure 16). Eventually, the infall proceeds from a wide region of the BH surface, but the density of the infalling material seems to be too low to enhance a QNM oscillation of the BH significantly (see the fifth panel of Figure 16). This feature is often found for a binary of highmass ratio and high BH spin.
In the latest work of the CCCW group [74], the effect of spin orientation, which is misaligned with that of the orbit rotation axis, was studied for the first time. They performed simulations for a = 0, 0.5, and 0.9, and Q = 3 with Γlaw EOS (Γ = 2), and found that the remnant disk mass decreases sensitively with increase of the inclination (misalignment) angle for given values of a and Q (see Figure 20). This is quite natural because the spinorbit coupling force is proportional to S·L, where S and L denote BH spin and orbital angular momentum vectors, respectively, and the radius of the ISCO around the BH approaches that for a = 0 with increasing of the inclination angle. Thus, the BH spin effect becomes less important with the increase of the inclination angle. They also found that the inclination angle is significantly decreased after a substantial mass of the NS falls into the companion BH, implying that the angular momentum vector of the remnant disk misaligns only modestly with the BH spin vector (by ≲ 20°). This is also quite natural because the orbital angular momentum is as large as or larger than the spin angular momentum of the BH for small mass ratios like Q = 3. However, for a high value of Q for which the fraction of the BH spin angular momentum in the total angular momentum is large, this conclusion will be modified. The initial inclination angle will not be significantly modified and an inclined disk, which subsequently precesses around the spinning BH, may be the outcome.
3.3.3 Extent of remnant disk
A tail of a onearmed spiral formed at tidal disruption often extends far away from the BH, in particular for the case in which the BH spin is high. The CCCW group reported that for Q = 3, a = 0.5, and \(\sqrt {{l^3}/G{m_0}}\) (i.e., for realistic values of the compactness), a tidal tail of mass 0.01–0.1 M_{⊙} goes to a distance l = 200–2000 km away from the BH before falling back to the central region [57]. They also reported that the fallback time scale was ∼ 200 ms for l = 2000 km assuming that the material obeys geodesic motion. Here, 200 ms agrees roughly with the dynamic infall time scale \(\sqrt {{l^3}/G{m_0}}\). This indicates that the time scale of mass accretion from the disk onto the BH is much longer than the rotational period of the disk in the vicinity of the BH ∼ 10 ms. The typical duration of SGRB is 0.1–1 s [142]. Such a time scale may be explained by the time scale of the fallback motion.
The LBPLI group also estimated the fallback time for their simulation with Q = 5, a = 0.5, and \({\mathcal C} = 0.16  0.18\) [41]. In their simulation, the compactness of the NS was assumed to be smaller than that for a realistic NS, and thus, the formation of the tidal tail can be significantly enhanced. They reported that for a large fraction of the material ∼ 0.05 M_{⊙}, the fallback time may be longer than 1 s. However, they followed the motion of the tidal tail only for a short time duration (16.3 ms; i.e., they did not show that the material really went far away, l ≳ 10^{4} km), and in addition, did not describe the detail of the method for estimating the fallback time. (Note that a fallback time longer than 1 s is realized only for an element, which reaches a distance from the BH of l ≳ 10^{4} km.) Hence, their conclusion should be confirmed by a longerterm simulation in the future. Their finding in the framework of numerical relativity that the disk can extend to a large distance ≫ 10 GM_{0}/c^{2} for a high BH spin was qualitatively new.
The KT group performed simulations for M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙}, Q = 2–5, a = 0.75 with several piecewise polytropic EOS [109]. They found that even for a binary with a NS of realistic compactness \({\mathcal C} \approx 0.145\), the disk can extend to ≳ 500 km (which is approximately the location of the outer boundary of the computational domain in their simulations). This conclusion agrees qualitatively with the previous results by CCCW and LBPLI. Thus, for the merger of a rapidlyspinning BH and a NS, it may be concluded that a widelyspread disk is formed, and the lifetime of the accretion disk will be fairly long ≳ 0.1 s. The KT groups also found that the density of the disk decreases with increase of Q (or the BH mass); for a highmass BH, a widely spread but less dense disk is formed.
3.3.4 Effects of EOS
The dependence of the merger process on the NS EOS comes primarily from the fact that the NS radius depends sensitively on the EOS. For a NS with a large radius, tidal disruption (and subsequent disk formation) is more likely. This fact was clearly shown in the works by the KT group [107, 109], performed employing a variety of the piecewise polytropic EOS.
The EOS also determines the density profile of a NS. Even if the radius is the same for a given mass, the density profiles for two NS may be different if the hypothetical EOS is different. The KT group showed that a NS with a small adiabatic index for the core region, with which the density is concentrated in the central region, is less subject to tidal disruption than that with a larger adiabatic index (with relatively uniform density profile), even if the radius and mass are identical; e.g., for the piecewise polytropic EOS listed in Table 4, a NS with a smaller value of Γ_{2} is less subject to tidal disruption. The reason for this is that the star with a high degree of central density concentration is less subject to tidal deformation, as reviewed in Section 1.2.
The CCCW group performed a simulation incorporating a tabulated finitetemperature EOS for the first time [57]. The advantage of this approach is that one can determine the temperature and composition, such as electron fraction in the disk formed after tidal disruption occurs. This will be useful for discussing the possibility that the remnant BHdisk system could be a central engine of an SGRB. To avoid taking into account the effects of neutrino emission, they assumed that the system is in βequilibrium or that the electron fraction is unchanged in the fluidmoving frame. In the former and latter, they assumed that the system is in either of the following two limiting cases; the weak interaction time scale is either much shorter or much longer than the dynamic time scale, respectively. They performed simulations focusing on the case a = 0.5 and Q = 3. Irrespective of the EOS, they found that the remnant disk is neutron rich with Y_{ e } ∼ 0.1−0.2 and the temperature is only moderately high (maximum is ∼ 10 MeV with the average ∼ 3 MeV) with the maximum density ∼ 10^{12} g/cm^{3} and disk mass ∼ 0.1 M_{⊙}. Perhaps, because of the relatively low mass and density of the disk, the temperature is not as high as that found in a Newtonian simulation with detailed microphysics [95].
3.4 Properties of the remnant black hole and disk
During merger, NS material falls into its companion BH, and then, the mass and spin of the BH vary. Because a large fraction of the NS material falls into the BH for most of the numerical experiments performed so far and the total energy of gravitational waves emitted (E_{GW}) is much smaller than the total mass energy of the system, the final BH mass becomes roughly M_{BH} + M_{NS} − M_{disk} − E_{GW} ≲ M_{BH} + M_{NS} = m_{0}. (The disk mass M_{disk} and E_{GW} are less than 10% of the initial total mass m0.) Numerical results indeed show that the final BH mass is larger than 0.9m_{0}.
Equation (123) gives rather qualitative estimate for the spin of the remnant BH. Nevertheless, it still gives a good approximate value of the final spin with the choice of (Gc^{−3}Ωm_{0})^{−1/3} = 3 as large as the remnant disk mass is small. With this choice, a_{ f } = 0.67, 0.56, 0.48, and 0.42 for Q = 2, 3, 4, and 5 and for a = 0. These values agree with the results derived by the CCCW [74], KT [194, 107, 108], and UIUC [63] groups within the error of Δa = 0.01−0.02.
For a large BH spin with a ≳ 0.5, a disk of a large mass (≳ 0.1 M_{⊙}) is often formed even for Q ∼ 3 − 5 (see below). In such cases, Equation (123) overestimates the final BH spin. However, this equation still captures the qualitative tendency of the final spin; e.g., for small BH spin, the final spin is determined by the value of Q and the larger values of Q results in smaller final BH spin; for larger values of Q with a large BH spin a ≳ 0.5, the final BH spin is primarily determined by the initial BH spin.
The left panel of Figure 20 plots together the results obtained by the UIUC, CCCW, and KT groups for Γ = 2 EOS with \({\mathcal C}\) and Q = 3 (the revised result by the KT group is plotted here; results in early work by the KT group do not agree with the result shown here [228, 194]; see below for the reason). This shows that the disk mass increases steeply with BH spin (a) for given values of \({\mathcal C} \sim 0.17\) and Q. The results by these three groups agree approximately with each other for a = 0. The CCCW group showed for the first time that the disk mass decreases with the increase of the inclination angle of the BH spin, and toward the limit to 90 degree, the disk mass approaches to that of a = 0. The right panel of Figure 20 plots the results by the KT group for different compactness (using EOS HB with M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙}; see Table 4). This shows again that the disk mass increases with the increase of the BH spin, and also that for high BH spin (e.g., a = 0.75), the disk mass is larger than 0.1 M_{⊙} even for Q = 5 with \(({\mathcal C} \approx 0.145)\).
Figure 21 shows disk mass as a function of NS compactness for a = 0.75 and a = 0.5 as performed by the KT group [109]. A steep decrease in disk mass with increasing compactness is found irrespective of the values of a and Q. Simulations for BHNS binaries with a spinning BH for particular values of the compactness or mass ratio were also performed by the CCCW and UIUC groups for a = 0.5 and 0.75, respectively. The results of the CCCW group for a = 0.5 and Q = 3 with various EOS agree with those of Figure 21 within ∼ 10–20%. We note that the disk mass may be different in the different EOS even with the same compactness of the NS, because the density profile of the NS, and the resulting susceptibility to the BH tidal force is different. Thus, this disagreement is reasonable. Also, the results of the UIUC group for a = 0.75, Q = 3, and \({\mathcal C} = 0.145\) = 0.145 with the Γlaw EOS (the disk mass ∼ 0.15 M_{B}) agree with the relation expected from Figure 21 within ∼ 20% error.
To clarify the dependence of the disk mass on relevant parameters, we consider three types of comparisons. First, we consider the case in which a, \({\mathcal C}\), and the EOS are fixed, but Q is varied. In this case, the disk mass monotonically decreases with the increase of Q for many cases. For example, for a = 0 and \({\mathcal C} = 0.145\) with Γ = 2 EOS, the disk mass is larger (smaller) than 0.01 M_{B} for Q ≲ 4 (Q ≳ 4) [63, 74, 154]. However, we should point out the exception to this rule, because for the case in which a largemass disk is formed, this rule may not hold. For example, the comparison between the left and right panels of Figure 19 shows that for relatively small compactness \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.16\), a largemass disk is formed for high BH spins and the disk mass depends only weakly on the value of Q for given values of a and \({\mathcal C}\).
Second, we consider the case in which Q and \({\mathcal C}\) are fixed, but a is varied. The UIUC group compared the results for a = −0.5, 0, and 0.75 for Q = 3 and \({\mathcal C} = 0.145\) with the Γlaw EOS (Γ = 2), and the resulting disk mass at ∼ 10 ms after the onset of the merger is 0.008, 0.039, and 0.15 M_{B} for a = −0.5, 0, and 0.75, respectively [63]. The CCCW group performed a similar study for a = 0, 0.5, and 0.9 for Q = 3 and \({\mathcal C} = 0.144\) with the Γlaw EOS (Γ = 2), and found that the disk mass at 10 ms after the onset of the merger is 0.034, 0.126, and 0.360 Mb for a = 0, 0.5, and 0.9, respectively [74]. Both groups found the systematic steep increase of the disk mass with the increase of the BH spin (cf. the left panel of Figure 20). This was also reconfirmed by the KT group [109] (see the right panel of Figure 19 and Figure 21).
Third, we consider the case in which a and Q are fixed, but the compactness, C, is varied. Systematic work was recently performed by the KT group [107, 108, 109], employing a piecewise polytropic EOS. Figures 19 and 21 show that the disk mass decreases monotonically with the increase of \({\mathcal C}\) for given values of a and Q. For producing a disk of mass larger than 0.01 M_{⊙} for \(a = 0,\,{\mathcal C}\) should be smaller than ∼ 0.18 for Q = 2 and ∼ 0.16 for Q = 3 according to their results. For a = 0.75, the condition is significantly relaxed.
Finally, the KT group [107, 108] found that the disk mass depends not only on the compactness but weakly on the density profile. For the NS with a more centrally concentrated density profile, the disk mass is smaller. The reason for this is that if the degree of the central mass concentration is smaller, tidal deformation is enhanced and it encourages earlier tidal disruption after the onset of mass shedding.
It is interesting to note that for a = 0.75 and M_{NS} ∼ 1.4 M_{⊙}, the mass of a disk surrounding a BH can be larger than 0.1 M_{⊙} for Q ≲ 4 with \({\mathcal C} = 0.18\) and for Q ≲ 5 with \({\mathcal C} = 0.17\). For Q = 2, the disk mass will be ≳ 0.1 M_{⊙} for any realistic NS with \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.20\). For a BH of higher spin, the disk mass will be even larger (cf. the left panel of Figure 20). In addition, the disk mass does not decrease steeply with the increase of Q for such a high spin. In particular, for a small value of \({\mathcal C}\), the disk mass depends very weakly on Q. All these results indicate that the disk mass is likely to be large even for a higher value of Q(≥ 5) with a high BH spin (a ≥ 0.75). The maximum density of the disk increases monotonically with the disk mass. For a disk mass larger than 0.1 M_{⊙}, the maximum density is larger than 10^{12} g/cm^{3} for Q ≲ 4 and ∼ 10^{11} g/cm^{3} for Q = 5 [109]. Hence, a highmass disk with a relatively small value of Q ≲ 4 is likely to be universally opaque against thermal neutrinos for the typical geometrical thickness of the disk; a neutrinodominated accretion disk is the outcome and this is favorable for copious neutrino emission. This leads to the conclusion that the coalescence of BHNS binaries with a highspin BH with a ≳ 0.75 and Q ≲ 4 is a promising progenitor for forming a BH plus a massive disk system; that is the candidate for a centralengine of SGRB.
Before closing this subsection, we should note that different groups have reported different quantitative results for the disk mass in their earlier work, which has been improved upon. For example, the earlier work of the KT group presented a small disk mass [228, 194]. This is mainly due to an unsuitable choice of computational domain and partly due to a spurious numerical effect associated with insufficient resolution and an unsuitable choice of AMR grid. The first work of the UIUC group also underestimated the disk mass [62]. This is due to an unsuitable prescription for handling the atmosphere. However, these have been subsequently fixed.
Generally speaking, the quantitative disagreement is due to the numerics. First, the fluid elements in the disk have to acquire a sufficiently large specific angular momentum which is larger than that at the ISCO of the remnant BH. The material that forms a disk obtains angular momentum by a hydrodynamic angular momentum transport process from the inner part of the material. This implies that such a transport process has to be accurately computed in a numerical simulation. However, it is well known that this is one of the challenging tasks in computational astrophysics. Second, to avoid spurious loss and transport of the angular momentum, a highresolution computation is required. However, the disk material is located in a relatively distant orbit around the central BH. In the AMR scheme, which is employed in all the groups, the resolution in this region is usually poorer than that in the central region. This might induce a spurious loss of angular momentum and resulting decrease of disk mass, even by a factor of ∼ 2. However, these issues are being resolved with the improvement of computational resources, the efficiency of the numerical code, and the skill for computation with the AMR algorithm. The left panel of Figure 20 shows as much.
3.5 Criteria for tidal disruption
As mentioned in Section 1, tidal disruption occurs after the onset of mass shedding and after a substantial fraction of the NS material is removed from the inner cusp by the BH tidal field. It is important to emphasize again that the condition of tidal disruption is in general different from that of mass shedding for BHNS binaries and that tidal disruption could occur in a more restricted condition than that for mass shedding, as mentioned in Sections 1 and 2. To determine the condition of tidal disruption, a dynamic simulation (not a study of quasiequilibrium or equilibrium) is necessary.
It is not easy to strictly determine the condition of tidal disruption, because its concept is not as clear as that of mass shedding. One way to determine the condition is to use the property of gravitational waveforms in the merger phase; if the “cutoff” frequency is smaller than the frequency of a quasinormal mode (QNM) of the remnant BH, we may conclude that tidal disruption occurs (see Section 3.6 for details of the cutoff frequency). Another way is to use the property of the merger remnant; we may recognize that tidal disruption occurs if the mass of a remnant disk surrounding a BH is substantial, say larger than 1% of the total rest mass at t ∼ 10 ms after the onset of mass shedding. We employ both criteria here to determine whether tidal disruption occurs or not.
First, we summarize the criterion for the case in which the BH spin is zero (a = 0). In this case, the condition of tidal disruption depends strongly on the mass ratio and compactness of the NS. According to the criterion associated with a gravitationalwave spectrum (see Figure 28, as an example), the condition of tidal disruption is \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.19\) for Q = 2 and \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.16\) for Q = 3.
Figure 19, which displays the result of the disk mass for a = 0 with several piecewise polytropic EOS, also illustrates that the condition of tidal disruption depends strongly on the values of Q and \({\mathcal C}\): the approximate condition for a = 0 is \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.18  0.19\) for Q = 2 and \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.16\) for Q = 3. We note that for Q = 3, this conclusion is consistent with those of the CCCW [57] and UIUC [63] groups. These criteria agree approximately with those derived from the gravitationalwave spectrum. The AEI group studied the case of Q = 5 with Γlaw EOS (Γ = 2) and showed that the condition is \({\mathcal C} \lesssim 0.13  0.14\) for Q = 5 [154].
For a spinning BH, in particular for the case in which the spin vector aligns with the orbital angular momentum vector, the condition for tidal disruption is highly relaxed. Here, we focus only on the case in which the BH spin vector is aligned with the orbital angular momentum vector. From the disk mass as a function of compactness shown in Figure 21 derived by the KT group, we can read the criteria as follows. For Q = 2, tidal disruption occurs irrespective of the value of \({\mathcal C}(\lesssim 0.2)\) for a ≥ 0.5. However, for a counterrotating spin (a = −0.5), the criterion for tidal disruption is significantly restricted (\(({\mathcal C} \lesssim {(}0.16{)})\)). For a = 0.75, tidal disruption occurs irrespective of the value of \({\mathcal C}(\lesssim 0.2)\) as far as Q ≲ 4.
On the other hand, if the value of \({\mathcal C}\) is small, tidal disruption may occur even for a large value of Q. With increase of Q, the ratio of the time scale of gravitational radiation reaction to the orbital period at the ISCO increases (e.g., Equation (2)). For such a highQ case, the effect of orbital decrease by gravitational radiation reaction after the onset of mass shedding becomes relatively minor, and therefore, the critical curves of tidal disruption and mass shedding approach each other.
For a BHNS binary with high BH spin, mass shedding may occur even for high mass ratio (say Q = 10 for a ≳ 0.9, e.g., Equation (12)). For such a case, the conditions for tidal disruption and mass shedding may approximately agree with each other. This point should be clarified through future study. If this is the case, the quasiequilibrium study plays an important role in determining the condition of mass shedding, because this also gives the (approximate) condition of tidal disruption.
3.6 Gravitational waveforms In this section, the features of gravitational waveforms emitted by BHNS binaries, found from numerical simulations to date, are summarized, showing the numerical results by the KT group [107, 109]. Waveforms of qualitatively similar features have been also derived by the UIUC [63] and CCCW groups [58].
3.6.1 Zero BH spin
Figure 23 shows that gravitational waveforms in the late inspiral phase before the onset of the merger (or tidal disruption) indeed agree with the result derived by the TaylorT4 formula for the BHNS binaries, as in the case of BHBH binaries. This is natural because of the equivalence principle for general relativity [227]. (Note that in the first few wave cycles, the agreement is not very good. This is because the initial condition given for their simulation was not in an exact quasicircular orbit.)
The waveforms may deviate from the prediction by the TaylorT4 formula before the onset of the merger for a small value of Q or for a large NS radius. The reason for this is that the NS is tidally deformed by the BH, and, as a result, the pure TaylorT4 formula, in which the tidaldeformation effect is not taken into account, is not a good formula for such a phase. The features of gravitational waveforms in the final inspiral phase are summarized later.
By contrast, for a sufficiently large value of Q or for a sufficiently compact NS, the tidaldeformation effect is negligible, and hence, the waveforms are quite similar to those for a BHBH binary as mentioned above. For a small degree of tidal deformation and mass shedding, most of the NS material falls into the BH simultaneously (this case corresponds to typeII according to the definition of Figure 18). In such a case, a fundamental QNM of a BH is excited (see the waveform for the soft EOS in Figure 23), and the highest frequency of gravitational waves is determined by the QNM.
The degree of the QNM excitation depends strongly on the degree of tidal deformation and mass shedding. The primary reason for this is that a phase cancellation is concerned in the excitation; here, the phase cancellation is the amount that the gravitational waves emitted in a noncoherent manner (with different phases) interfere with each other to suppress the amplitude of gravitational waves [141, 187, 139]. With increasing degree of mass shedding, the phase cancellation effect plays an increasingly important role and the amplitude of the QNMringdown gravitational waves decreases. For the case in which a NS is tidally disrupted far outside the ISCO, this effect is significantly enhanced because the NS material does not simultaneously fall into the BH. Rather, a widely spread material, for which the density is much smaller than the typical NS’s density, falls into the BH from a wide region of the BH surface spending a relatively long time duration (this case corresponds to typeI according to the definition of Figure 18). Here, it is appropriate to point out why infall occurs from a wide region of the BH surface; the BH mass is small for the case in which mass shedding occurs for a = 0, and thus, the areal radius of the BH is smaller than or as small as the NS radius. All these effects are discouraging for efficiently exciting a QNM, and therefore, the amplitude of the QNMringdown gravitational waves is strongly suppressed for the case in which tidal disruption occurs (see the waveform for EOS 2H in Figure 23). For the case in which tidal disruption occurs, the highest frequency of gravitational waves is approximately determined by the orbital frequency at tidal disruption, not by the frequency of a QNM.
One important remark here is that this highest, characteristic frequency is not in general determined by the frequency at the onset of mass shedding. Even after the onset of mass shedding, the NS continues to be a selfgravitating star for a while and gravitational waves associated with an approximatelyinspiral motion are emitted. After a substantial fraction of gravitational waves is emitted and thus, the orbital separation becomes sufficiently small, tidal disruption occurs. At such a moment, the amplitude of the gravitational waves damps steeply, and hence, the highest frequency of gravitational waves should be determined by the tidaldisruption event.
The qualitative features summarized above depend on the BH spin; for binaries composed of a BH of high spin, tidal disruption may occur for a high mass ratio, and hence, the infall process of the tidallydisrupted material into the BH may be qualitatively modified. This is well reflected in gravitational waveforms, as described in the next Section 3.6.2.
3.6.2 Nonzero BH spin
Figure 24 shows that for a ≤ 0, a ringdown waveform associated with a QNM of the BH is clearly seen, whereas for a = 0.75, such a feature is absent. This reflects the fact that tidal disruption of the NS occurs for a = 0.75 far outside the ISCO, whereas it does not for a ≤ 0. For a = 0.5, tidal disruption occurs but a ringdown waveform associated with a QNM is seen. This is a new type of gravitational waveform. In this case, tidal disruption occurs near the ISCO and a large fraction of the NS material falls into the BH. The infall occurs approximately simultaneously and proceeds from a narrow region of the BH surface. This new type appears for the case in which the BH mass (or mass ratio Q) is large enough that the surface of the event horizon is wider than the extent of the infalling material, as explained in Section 3.3.2 (see Figure 18).
The inspiral waveform matches well to that of the TaylorT4 formula for binaries composed of a spinning BH as well as for a nonspinning BH. Figure 24 also shows that matching is achieved as well as for a = 0, irrespective of the spin, except for the final phase just before the onset of the merger. As in the case of a = 0, the deviation of gravitational waveforms from the prediction by the TaylorT4 formula is enhanced with increasing degree of tidal deformation, and with subsequent mass shedding and tidal disruption.
3.7 The Fourier spectrum of gravitational waves
3.7.1 Zero BHspin case
The final fate of the NS in BHNS binaries is clearly reflected in the spectrum of gravitational waves. General qualitative features of the gravitationalwave spectrum for BHNS binaries composed of nonspinning BH are summarized as follows. For the early stage of the inspiral phase, during which the orbital frequency is ≲ 1 kHz (R/12 km)^{−3/2} and the PN pointparticle approximation works well, the gravitationalwave spectrum is approximately reproduced by the TaylorT4 formula. For this phase, the spectrum amplitude of \({h_{{\rm{eff}}}} \equiv f\tilde h(f)\) decreases as \({f^{ {n_i}}}\) where n_{ i } ≈ 1/6 for f ≪ 1 kHz and the value of n_{ i } increases with f for f ≲ 1 kHz (R/12 km)^{−3/2}. As the orbital separation decreases, both the nonlinear effect of general relativity and the finitesized effect of the NS come into play, and thus, the PN pointparticle approximation breaks down. When tidal disruption (not mass shedding) occurs for a relatively large separation (e.g., for a NS of stiff EOS or for a small value of Q), the amplitude of the gravitationalwave spectra damps above a “cutoff” frequency f_{cut}. The cutoff frequency is equal to a frequency in the middle of the inspiral phase with f_{cut} ∼ 1−2 kHz for this case (it is lower than the frequency at the ISCO). The cutoff frequency depends on the binary parameters as well as on the EOS of the NS. A more strict definition of f_{cut} was given by the KT group and will be reviewed below.
By contrast, if tidal disruption does not occur or occurs at a close orbit near the ISCO, the spectrum amplitude for a high frequency region (f ≳ 1 kHz) is larger than that predicted by the TaylorT4 formula (i.e., the value of ni decreases and can even become negative). In this case, an inspirallike motion may continue even inside the ISCO for a dynamic time scale and gravitational waves with a high amplitude are emitted. (This property holds even in the presence of mass shedding.) This is reflected in the fact that \(f\tilde h(f)\) becomes a slowly varying function of f for 1 kHz ≲ f ≲ f_{cut}, where f_{cut} ∼2−3 kHz.
A steep damping of the spectra for f ≳ f_{cut} is universally observed, and for softer EOS with smaller NS radius, the frequency of f_{cut} is higher for a given mass of BH and NS. This cutoff frequency is determined by the frequency of gravitational waves emitted when the NS is tidally disrupted for the stiff EOS or by the frequency of a QNM of the remnant BH for the soft EOS. Therefore, the cutoff frequency provides potential information for a EOS through the tidaldisruption event of the NS, in particular for the stiff EOS.
Figure 26 illustrates that f_{cut} is rather high, ≳ 2 kHz, for a variety of EOS, and thus, the dependence of f_{cut} on the EOS for a = 0 appears only for a high frequency. The reason for this is that for a = 0, tidal disruption can occur only for a small mass ratio (and thus for a small total mass) with a typical NS mass of 1.3−1.4 M_{⊙}; see Equation (8). The effective amplitude of gravitational waves at f = 2 kHz is ∼ 2 × 10^{−22} for a hypothetical distance to the source of 100 Mpc. The amplitude is smaller than the noise level of advanced gravitationalwave detectors, but such a signal will be detectable to nextgeneration detectors such as Einstein Telescope [91, 92].
3.7.2 Nonzero BHspin case
For the typeIII spectrum, we refer to the first (lower) typical frequency as the cutoff frequency in the following. In this definition, with increasing BH spin, the cutoff frequency decreases and the amplitude of the gravitationalwave spectrum for f ≲ f_{cut} increases. These two effects are preferable for gravitationalwave detection by planned advanced laserinterferometric detectors, because their sensitivity is better for smaller frequencies around f = f_{cut}. These quantitative changes come again from the spinorbit coupling effect (see also Sections 3.3 and 3.6), as explained in the following.
Due to the spinorbit coupling effect, which brings a repulsive force into BHNS binaries (for the prograde spin), the orbital velocity for a given separation is reduced, because the centrifugal force may be weaker for a given separation to maintain a quasicircular orbit. Due to the decrease of the orbital velocity (a) the orbital angular velocity at a given separation is decreased and (b) the luminosity of gravitational waves is decreased. Effect (a) results in the decrease of the cutoff frequency at which tidal disruption occurs. Effect (b) decelerates the orbital evolution as a result of gravitational radiation reaction, resulting in a longer lifetime of the binary system and in increase in the number of the gravitationalwave cycle. This effect increases the amplitude of the gravitationalwave spectrum of f < f_{cut} for a > 0. These two effects are schematically described in the left panel of Figure 30.
For binaries composed of a highspin BH, tidal disruption can occur outside the ISCO even for a highmass BH for a variety of EOS. Thus, the dependence of f_{cut} on the EOS is clearly seen even for a high value of Q. The right panel of Figure 29 shows the spectrum for Q = 4, M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙}, and a = 0.75 with four different EOS. For all the EOS, tidal disruption occurs, and the value of f_{cut} depends strongly on the EOS. For EOS 2H and H, the spectra are typeI, but for EOS HB and B (stiff EOS), they are typeIII. Thus, for a high BH spin, a typeI or typeIII spectrum is often seen even for a high value of Q.
With the increase of Q (for a canonical mass of a NS ∼ 1.4 M_{⊙}), the value of f_{cut} decreases (cf. Equation (7)), and the effective amplitude at f = f_{cut} increases as the total mass increases. These are also favorable properties for gravitationalwave detection. The right panel of Figure 29 indeed illustrates that f_{cut} is smaller than 2 kHz irrespective of the EOS, and also, that the effective amplitude at f ≲ 2 kHz is as large as the noise curve of the advanced detector for a hypothetical distance of D = 100 Mpc. For an even higher spin, say a ≳ 0.9, tidal disruption is likely to occur for a higher BH mass with Q ∼ 10. For such a case, the amplitude of gravitational waves at tidal disruption is likely to be high enough to be observable irrespective of EOS for D = 100 Mpc. This indicates that a BHNS binary with a high BH spin will be a promising experimental field for constraining the EOS of highdensity nuclear matter, when advanced gravitationalwave detectors are in operation.
3.8 Summary and issues for the near future

In the final phase of BHNS binaries, the NS is either tidally disrupted or swallowed by the companion BH. For a typical compactness of the NS, \({\mathcal C} = 0.14  0.20\), with zero BH spin, tidal disruption occurs outside the ISCO only for a small mass ratio of Q ≲ 3. For the case in which tidal disruption occurs, the final remnant is a BH surrounded by a disk of relatively small mass (say ≲ 0.1 M_{⊙}).

The effects associated with BH spin enhance the possibilities for tidal disruption and for disk formation. Even for a moderately large spin a = 0.5, the criterion of tidal disruption for the mass ratio is relaxed to Q ≲ 5, for, e.g., \({\mathcal C} = 0.17\). In addition the effects of BH spin increase the mass of a remnant disk surrounding a BH to ∼ 0.1−0.3 M_{⊙} for a typical NS of mass M_{NS} = 1.35 M_{⊙} with a = 0.75 and Q ∼ 5 [109]. For a favorable condition, such as \({\mathcal C} = 0.145\) and a = 0.9, the disk mass may be ≳ 0.5 M_{⊙} [74].

For a binary composed of a highspin BH with high mass ratio, the disk, if it is formed, has a spread structure. However, the simulations so far (in which detailed microphysical effects such as neutrino wind are not taken into account) have not shown any evidence that a fraction of NS material escapes from the system.

The final merger process is well reflected in gravitational waveforms. Up to now, it has been found that there are at least three types of gravitational waveform. (i) For the case in which tidal disruption occurs far outside the ISCO, the amplitude of gravitational waves steeply damps in the middle of the late inspiral phase, and ringdown gravitational waves associated with a QNM of the remnant BH are not seen clearly. This type is referred to as typeI. For the case in which tidal disruption does not occur outside the ISCO, ringdown gravitational waves associated with a QNM of the remnant BH are clearly seen in the final phase of the gravitationalwave signal. This type is referred to as typeII. For the case in which tidal disruption occurs near the ISCO, there are two possibilities. One is that the amplitude of the gravitational waves steeply damps and the ringdown signal of a QNM is not seen clearly. This is the case that the mass ratio Q (and thus BH mass) is small, and the resulting type of the gravitational waveform is typeI. For a large value of Q (for a high BH mass), the disrupted material falls into the BH from a narrow region of the BH surface. In such cases, both the feature of steep damping associated with tidal disruption and ringdown gravitational waves associated with a QNM are seen. This type is referred to as typeIII.

Reflecting that there are three types of gravitational waveforms, the gravitationalwave spectrum is also classified into three types. For typeI and typeIII, the gravitationalwave spectrum is characterized by the cutoff frequency associated with tidal disruption. For a given set of masses of BH and NS, and BH spin, the cutoff frequency is determined by the EOS of the NS. Thus, if the cutoff frequencies are determined for a detected signal of gravitational waves, the EOS of the NS will be constrained. The cutoff frequency is higher than ∼ 1 kHz (e.g., Equation (8)). The frequency is lower for a NS of larger radii or for a rapidly spinning BH with a large BH mass. In particular, for a binary composed of a highspin BH, the effective amplitude at f = f_{cut} is enhanced by the spinorbit coupling effect. This effect is favorable for detecting a gravitationalwave signal at the cutoff frequency by advanced detectors.
There are several issues to be solved for the near future. First, more realistic modeling of NS is required because numerical studies have been performed with quite simple EOS and microphysics up till now. For more realistic modeling of BHNS binaries (in particular for modeling formation and evolution processes of a disk surrounding a BH), more physical EOS should be taken into account; we have to take into account finitetemperature EOS, neutrino process, and magnetic fields (accurately evolving magnetic field configurations). Second, there is still a wide range of the parameter space that has not been studied. In particular, binaries of high BH spin (a > 0.9) have not been studied yet. For the case in which BH spin is close to unity, the NS may be tidally disrupted even for a high mass ratio Q ∼ 20; cf. Equation (12). This possibility has not been explored yet. For such a highmass binary, tidal disruption occurs at a relativelylow gravitationalwave frequency ∼ 1 kHz. This is favorable for observing the tidaldisruption event by gravitationalwave detectors, and thus, this deserves intense study. Recent work by Liu et al. [130] indicated it feasible to perform a simulation with a high spin a ∼ 0.99 using a simple prescription (see also [133]). A simulation with such a high spin will be done in a few years. Third, only one study has been done for the merger process of the binaries in which the BH spin and orbital angular momentum vectors misalign. In particular, any study of gravitational waveforms has not been done for this case. This is also an issue to be explored. Finally, it is necessary to optimize simulation codes to efficiently and accurately perform a large number of longterm simulations for a wide range of parameter space. This is required for preparing template sets of gravitational waves that are used for gravitationalwave data analysis. Work along this line has recently begun in 2010 [153, 110], and in the next several years, it will be encouraged because the preparation of theoretical templates is an urgent task for advanced gravitationalwave detectors.
Notes
Acknowledgements
We are grateful to M.D. Duez, K. Kyutoku, and Y.T. Liu for reading this article and for providing helpful comments. We also thank M.D. Duez and F. Foucart for providing the data for plotting Figure 20(a). It is also a pleasure to acknowledge K. Kyutoku for his special help in completing many of the figures in this article. This work was supported by GrantinAid for Scientific Research of JSPS (21340051), GrantinAid for Research Activity Startup of JSPS (22840010), and by GrantinAid for Scientific Research on Innovative Area (20105004) of Japanese MEXT.
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