The properties of neutron stars are determined by the nature of the matter that they contain. These properties can be constrained by measurements of the star’s size. We obtain stringent constraints on neutron-star radii by combining multimessenger observations of the binary neutron-star merger GW170817 with nuclear theory that best accounts for density-dependent uncertainties in the equation of state. We construct equations of state constrained by chiral effective field theory and marginalize over these using the gravitational-wave observations. Combining this with the electromagnetic observations of the merger remnant that imply the presence of a short-lived hypermassive neutron star, we find that the radius of a 1.4 M⊙ neutron star is R1.4M⊙=11.0−0.6+0.9km (90% credible interval). Using this constraint, we show that neutron stars are unlikely to be disrupted in neutron star–black hole mergers; subsequently, such events will not produce observable electromagnetic emission.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics