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DFG funded projects

Black Hole - Neutron Star mergers: Theoretical Modeling, Numerical Simulations, and Data Interpretation

The first direct detection of gravitational waves inaugurated a new era in astronomy. Since then numerous compact binary mergers have been detected, among them gravitational waves emitted from the collision of a black hole with a neutron star. Such black hole - neutron star systems can reveal information about the state of matter at supranuclear densities or allow for a more precise measurement of the Hubble constant. Because of this, it is essential to enable an accurate cross-correlation between theoretical models and observational data. This requires a reliable theoretical description of the black hole - neutron star coalescence, the emitted gravitational-wave signal, and potential electromagnetic counterparts. Unfortunately, the number of available numerical-relativity simulations for black hole - neutron star systems is small and the corresponding waveform models for this class of systems are in their infancy. Within this research project, we plan to fill these gaps. For this purpose, we will extend the code infrastructure of the pseudo-spectral code Elliptica to allow the construction of accurate black hole - neutron star initial data. These data will be evolved with the BAM code and our new simulation results will be the fundament for the development of new gravitational-wave models and phenomenological estimates of the disk mass and ejecta outflows. We plan to make all our results and codes publicly available.

Period: Approved in 2022; funding started July 2023


Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize

"Since 1977, the annual Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize has been awarded to young scientists for their outstanding achievements. The prize is named after the physicist and former President of the German Research Foundation Heinz Maier-Leibnitz. A total of ten prizes, each endowed with 20,000 euros, are awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) on the recommendation of third parties. The management of the University of Potsdam nominated Prof. Dietrich for the prize. The selection decision is made by a committee whose members are appointed by the DFG and the BMBF."


The award ceremony took place online on 4th of May 2021.