Inside a neutron star – new insights from gravitational waves

“If we neglect these additional effects, our understanding of the structure of the neutron star as a whole can become deeply biased,” added Pratten, the lead author of the paper.

LIGO and Virgo Collaboration

Since the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration detected the first gravitational waves in 2016, scientists have been working to improve their understanding of the massive collisions that produce these signals, including the physics of a neutron star at supra nuclear densities.

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory designed to detect cosmic gravitational waves. And Virgo is a gravitational interferometer, which is a type of telescope designed to detect gravitational waves from gravity-driven astrophysical phenomena.

The instruments were designed to detect gravitational waves, which are ripples in time and space caused by black holes and neutron stars merging.

The scientific team’s refinements are the latest contribution from the University of Birmingham to the Advanced LIGO program.

These refinements are really important. “Within single neutron stars, we can start to understand what’s happening deep inside the star’s core, where matter exists at temperatures and densities we cannot produce in ground-based experiments,” said Dr. Patricia Schmidt, co-author of the study and an associate professor at the Institute for Gravitational Wave Astronomy.