Nuclear Physics Multimessenger Astrophysics Constraints on the Neutron Star Equation of State: Adding NICER's PSR J0740+6620 Measurement

Peter T.H. Pang, Ingo Tews, Michael W. Coughlin, Mattia Bulla, Chris Van Den Broeck, Tim Dietrich

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Abstract

In the past few years, new observations of neutron stars (NSs) and NS mergers have provided a wealth of data that allow one to constrain the equation of state (EOS) of nuclear matter at densities above nuclear saturation density. However, most observations were based on NSs with masses of about 1.4 M⊙, probing densities up to ∼three to four times the nuclear saturation density. Even higher densities are probed inside massive NSs such as PSR J0740+6620. Very recently, new radio observations provided an update to the mass estimate for PSR J0740+6620, and X-ray observations by the NICER and XMM telescopes constrained its radius. Based on these new measurements, we revisit our previous nuclear physics multimessenger astrophysics constraints and derive updated constraints on the EOS describing the NS interior. By combining astrophysical observations of two radio pulsars, two NICER measurements, the two gravitational-wave detections GW170817 and GW190425, detailed modeling of the kilonova AT 2017gfo, and the gamma-ray burst GRB 170817A, we are able to estimate the radius of a typical 1.4 M⊙ NS to be 11.94-0.87+0.76 km at 90% confidence. Our analysis allows us to revisit the upper bound on the maximum mass of NSs and disfavors the presence of a strong first-order phase transition from nuclear matter to exotic forms of matter, such as quark matter, inside NSs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume922
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 20 2021

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© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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