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Where Tori Fear to Trend: Hypermassive Neutron Star Remnants and Absolute Event Horizons or Topics in Computational General Relativity


Kaplan, Jeffrey Daniel (2014) Where Tori Fear to Trend: Hypermassive Neutron Star Remnants and Absolute Event Horizons or Topics in Computational General Relativity. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/WAB5-8460.


Computational general relativity is a field of study which has reached maturity only within the last decade. This thesis details several studies that elucidate phenomena related to the coalescence of compact object binaries. Chapters 2 and 3 recounts work towards developing new analytical tools for visualizing and reasoning about dynamics in strongly curved spacetimes. In both studies, the results employ analogies with the classical theory of electricity and magnitism, first (Ch. 2) in the post-Newtonian approximation to general relativity and then (Ch. 3) in full general relativity though in the absence of matter sources. In Chapter 4, we examine the topological structure of absolute event horizons during binary black hole merger simulations conducted with the SpEC code. Chapter 6 reports on the progress of the SpEC code in simulating the coalescence of neutron star-neutron star binaries, while Chapter 7 tests the effects of various numerical gauge conditions on the robustness of black hole formation from stellar collapse in SpEC. In Chapter 5, we examine the nature of pseudospectral expansions of non-smooth functions motivated by the need to simulate the stellar surface in Chapters 6 and 7. In Chapter 8, we study how thermal effects in the nuclear equation of state effect the equilibria and stability of hypermassive neutron stars. Chapter 9 presents supplements to the work in Chapter 8, including an examination of the stability question raised in Chapter 8 in greater mathematical detail.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Computational Astrophysics, Event Horizons, General Relativity, Gravitational Collapse, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Numerical Relativity
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Ott, Christian D.
Thesis Committee:
  • Weinstein, Alan Jay (chair)
  • Hallinan, Gregg W.
  • Scheel, Mark
  • Ott, Christian D.
Defense Date:1 July 2013
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07122013-120734335
Persistent URL:
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Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7912
Deposited By: Jeffrey Kaplan
Deposited On:29 Jul 2013 17:52
Last Modified:26 Oct 2021 18:28

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