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Appendix B: Report of the Panel on Compact Objects and Energetic Phenomena
Pages 228-246

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From page 228...
... If the binary companion is an ordinary star, then stellar and binary evolution can allow mass transfer and accretion from the donor companion onto the compact object, often mediated by an accretion disk. Accretion onto compact objects is an efficient power source for radiation, leading to systems called cataclysmic variables (accreting WDs)
From page 229...
... WHAT ARE THE MASS AND SPIN DISTRIBUTIONS OF NEUTRON STARS AND STELLAR BLACK HOLES? Among the measurable properties of compact objects, two fundamental quantities are their mass and spin, which can constrain their birth and evolution.
From page 230...
... The BH mass distribution, combined with the distribution and orientation of spins, may help reveal the physical origin of these BHs: do they arise from normal massive stellar binary evolution, triple/multiple star systems, or dynamical scattering in very dense stellar systems like globular clusters? That there might be gaps or breaks in the mass distribution at even higher masses may be understood as arising from known and hypothesized evolutionary pathways of single massive stars.
From page 231...
... Because most massive stars occur in binary or higher-order multiple systems, the mass distribution of NSs and BHs constrains critically uncertain aspects of interacting binary and massive star evolution. A substantially larger sample of NS- or BH-stellar binary systems could potentially allow for an understanding of the relative rate of SN success/failure as a function of metallicity because the companion stars can be characterized in detail.
From page 232...
... Additionally, shocks launched by a variety of astronomical transients constitute unique laboratories for relativistic particle acceleration under extreme physical conditions. Recent technological advances have led to a revolution in the investigative power of astronomical time-domain surveys, which in turn have led to the discovery of new classes of transients (e.g., fast radio bursts, superluminous SNe, stellar mergers)
From page 233...
... Is there EM emission before compact binary mergers, and what can it tell us about the properties of the progenitor systems? Current speculation is that fast radio bursts are also manifestations of cataclysmic events involving NSs or BHs.
From page 234...
... A healthy ecosystem of optical/infrared transient surveys with a range of sensitivities and temporal cadences, combined with prompt public release of discoveries and data, is required to find and characterize transients over the entire range of time scales, distances, and luminosities produced by the cosmos. Wide-field monitors in the ultraviolet, X-ray, and low/medium-energy gamma-ray bands are needed to open the fields of SN shock breakout, to enable systematic exploration of tidal disruption events, and to maintain detection capabilities of GRBs in conjunction with GW events.
From page 235...
... The acceleration appears to be gradual, and the peak Lorentz factor is reached in only ~106 PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION B-8
From page 237...
... This issue has couplings across astrophysics. Questions of accretion physics connect to AGN PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION B-10
From page 238...
... Meanwhile, theoretical work and observational studies in the more local universe will shed light on the physics of super-Eddington accretion and its EM signatures. Lower accretion rates are also important for SMBH growth, so we must understand the structure and stability of sub-Eddington quasar accretion disks PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION B-11
From page 240...
... These sources may be accompanied by counterparts covering a broad range of the EM spectrum and a wide span of time scales, including transients before, during, or after the merger as well as persistent counterparts. LISA localizations will be ~10 arcmin2, offering the opportunity to find these EM PREPUBLICATION COPY – SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION B-13
From page 243...
... B-Q1b: What is the population of noninteracting or isolated neutron stars and stellar-mass black holes? B-Q1c: What is the equation of state of ultradense matter?


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