David Tsang

David Tsang
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David Tsang

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Pub Categories

High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (9)
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (6)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (4)
Astrophysics (4)
Physics - Plasma Physics (1)
Physics - Popular Physics (1)
Physics - Fluid Dynamics (1)
Mathematical Physics (1)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (1)
Mathematics - Numerical Analysis (1)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (1)
Mathematics - Mathematical Physics (1)

Publications Authored By David Tsang

We calculate the electromagnetic signal of a gamma-ray flare coming from the surface of a neutron star shortly before merger with a black hole companion. Using a new version of the Monte Carlo radiation transport code Pandurata that incorporates dynamic spacetimes, we integrate photon geodesics from the neutron star surface until they reach a distant observer or are captured by the black hole. The gamma-ray light curve is modulated by a number of relativistic effects, including Doppler beaming and gravitational lensing. Read More

We examine the effects of higher-order multipole contributions of rotating neutron star (NS) spacetimes on the propagation of corrugation (c-)modes within a thin accretion disk. We find that the Lense-Thirring precession frequency, which determines the propagation region of the low-frequency fundamental corrugation modes, can experience a turnover allowing for c-modes to become self-trapped for sufficiently high dimensionless spin $j$ and quadrupole rotational deformability $\alpha$. If such self-trapping c-modes can be detected, e. Read More

Symplectic integrators are widely used for long-term integration of conservative astrophysical problems due to their ability to preserve the constants of motion; however, they cannot in general be applied in the presence of nonconservative interactions. In this Letter, we develop the "slimplectic" integrator, a new type of numerical integrator that shares many of the benefits of traditional symplectic integrators yet is applicable to general nonconservative systems. We utilize a fixed time-step variational integrator formalism applied to the principle of stationary nonconservative action developed in Galley, 2013; Galley, Tsang & Stein, 2014. Read More

We further develop a recently introduced variational principle of stationary action for problems in nonconservative classical mechanics and extend it to classical field theories. The variational calculus used is consistent with an initial value formulation of physical problems and allows for time-irreversible processes, such as dissipation, to be included at the level of the action. In this formalism, the equations of motion are generated by extremizing a nonconservative action $\mathcal{S}$, which is a functional of a doubled set of degrees of freedom. Read More

I derive a fully analytic expression for the linear corotation torque to first order in eccentricity for planets in non-barotropic protoplanetary disks, taking into account the effect of disk entropy gradients. This torque formula is applicable to both the co-orbital corotation torque and the non co-orbital corotation torques -- for planets in orbits with non-zero eccentricity -- in disks where the thermal diffusivity and viscosity are sufficient to maintain linearity of these interactions. While the co-orbital corotation torque is important for migration of planets in Type I migration, the non co-orbital corotation torque plays an important role in the eccentricity evolution of giant planets that have opened gaps in the disk. Read More

We show that the first order (non co-orbital) corotation torques are significantly modified by entropy gradients in a non-barotropic protoplanetary disk. Such non-barotropic torques can dramatically alter the balance that, for barotropic cases, results in the net eccentricity damping for giant gap-clearing planets embedded in the disk. We demonstrate that stellar illumination can heat the gap enough for the planet's orbital eccentricity to instead be excited. Read More

This white paper is an explanation of Ben and Dave's TARDIS time machine, written for laypeople who are interested in time travel, but have no technical knowledge of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. The first part of this paper is an introduction to the pertinent ideas from Einstein's theory of curved spacetime, followed by a review of other popular time machine spacetimes. We begin with an introduction to curvature and lightcones. Read More

There are many spacetime geometries in general relativity which contain closed timelike curves. A layperson might say that retrograde time travel is possible in such spacetimes. To date no one has discovered a spacetime geometry which emulates what a layperson would describe as a time machine. Read More

Using a fast semi-analytic raytracing code, we study the variability of relativistically broadened iron lines due to discoseismic oscillations concentrated in the inner-most regions of accretion discs around black holes. The corrugation mode, or c-mode, is of particular interest as its natural frequency corresponds well to the ~0.1-15Hz range observed for low-frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (LFQPOs) for lower spins. Read More

We demonstrate that resonant shattering flares can occur during close passages of neutron stars in eccentric or hyperbolic encounters. We provide updated estimates for the rate of close encounters of compact objects in dense stellar environments, which we find are substantially lower than given in previous works. While such occurrences are rare, we show that shattering flares can provide a strong electromagnetic counterpart to the gravitational wave bursts expected from such encounters, allowing triggered searches for these events to occur. Read More

We examine timing noise in both magnetars and regular pulsars, and find that there exists a component of the timing noise with strong magnetic field dependence above B ~ 10^{12.5} G. The dependence of the timing noise floor on the magnetic field is also reflected in the smallest observable glitch size. Read More

The physical origin of high-frequency QPOs (HFQPOs) in black-hole X-ray binaries remains an enigma despite many years of detailed observational studies. Although there exists a number of models for HFQPOs, many of these are simply "notions" or "concepts" without actual calculation derived from fluid or disk physics. Future progress requires a combination of numerical simulations and semi-analytic studies to extract physical insights. Read More

The resonant excitation of neutron star (NS) modes by tides is investigated as a source of short gamma-ray burst (sGRB) precursors. We find that the driving of a crust-core interface mode can lead to shattering of the NS crust, liberating ~10^46-10^47 erg of energy seconds before the merger of a NS-NS or NS-black hole binary. Such properties are consistent with Swift/BAT detections of sGRB precursors, and we use the timing of the observed precursors to place weak constraints on the crust equation of state. Read More

Waves reflected by the inner edge of a protoplanetary disk are shown to significantly modify Type I migration, even allowing the trapping of planets near the inner disk edge for small planets in a range of disk parameters. This may inform the distribution planets close to their central stars, as observed by the Kepler mission. Read More

We study the effect of corotation resonance on the inertial-acoustic oscillations (p-modes) of black-hole accretion discs. Previous works have shown that for barotropic flows (where the pressure depends only on the density), wave absorption at the corotation resonance can lead to mode growth when the disc vortensity, $\zeta=\kappa^2/(2\Omega\Sigma)$ (where $\Omega, \kappa, \Sigma$ are the rotation rate, radial epicyclic frequency and surface density of the disc, respectively), has a positive gradient at the corotation radius. Here we generalize the analysis of the corotation resonance effect to non-barotropic fluids. Read More

We study global non-axisymmetric oscillation modes trapped near the inner boundary of an accretion disc. Observations indicate that some of the quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) observed in the luminosities of accreting compact objects (neutron stars, black holes and white dwarfs) are produced in the inner-most regions of accretion discs or boundary layers. Two simple models are considered in this paper: The magnetosphere-disc model consists of a thin Keplerian disc in contact with a uniformly rotating magnetosphere with and low plasma density, while the star-disc model involves a Keplerian disc terminated at the stellar atomosphere with high density and small density scale height. Read More

Diskoseismic c-modes in accretion discs have been invoked to explain low-frequency variabilities observed in black-hole X-ray binaries. These modes are trapped in the inner-most region of the disc and have frequencies much lower than the rotation frequency at the disc inner radius. We show that because the trapped waves can tunnel through the evanescent barrier to the corotational wave zone, the c-modes are damped due to wave absorption at the corotation resonance. Read More

We study the global stability of non-axisymmetric p-modes (also called inertial-acoustic modes) trapped in the inner-most regions of accretion discs around black holes. We show that the lowest-order (highest-frequency) p-modes, with frequencies $\omega=(0.5-0. Read More

Thermal noise is expected to be the dominant source of noise in the most sensitive frequency band of second generation ground based gravitational wave detectors. Reshaping the beam to a flatter wider profile which probes more of the mirror surface reduces this noise. The "Mesa" beam shape has been proposed for this purpose and was subsequently generalized to a family of hyperboloidal beams with two parameters: twist angle alpha and beam width D. Read More

In differentially rotating discs with no self-gravity, density waves cannot propagate around the corotation, where the wave pattern rotation speed equals the fluid rotation rate. Waves incident upon the corotation barrier may be super-reflected (commonly referred to as corotation amplifier), but the reflection can be strongly affected by wave absorptions at the corotation resonance/singularity. The sign of the absorption is related to the Rossby wave zone very near the corotation radius. Read More

Using numerical calculations, we compare three versions of the Barrett-Crane model of 4-dimensional Riemannian quantum gravity. In the version with face and edge amplitudes as described by De Pietri, Freidel, Krasnov, and Rovelli, we show the partition function diverges very rapidly for many triangulated 4-manifolds. In the version with modified face and edge amplitudes due to Perez and Rovelli, we show the partition function converges so rapidly that the sum is dominated by spin foams where all the spins labelling faces are zero except for small, widely separated islands of higher spin. Read More