Impact of moment-based, energy integrated neutrino transport on microphysics and ejecta in binary neutron star mergers

Julien Froustey, Sherwood Richers, Evan Grohs, Samuel D. Flynn, Francois Foucart, James P. Kneller, Gail C. McLaughlin.
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Abstract

Neutrino evolution, of great importance in environments such as neutron star mergers (NSMs) because of their impact on explosive nucleosynthesis, is still poorly understood due to the high complexity and variety of possible flavor conversion mechanisms. In this study, we focus on so-called “fast flavor oscillations”, which can occur on timescales of nanoseconds and are connected to the existence of a crossing between the angular distributions of electron (anti)neutrinos. Based on the neutrino radiation field drawn from a three dimensional neutron star merger simulation, we use an extension of the two-moment formalism of neutrino quantum kinetics, and perform a linear stability analysis to determine the characteristics of fast flavor instabilities across the simulation. We compare the results to local (centimeter-scale) three-dimensional two-flavor simulations using either a moment method or a particle-in-cell architecture. We get generally good agreement in the instability growth rate and typical instability lengthscale, although the imperfections of the closure used in moment methods remain to be better understood.