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On gravitational-wave echoes from neutron-star binary coalescences

Abstract

A tentative detection of gravitational-wave echoes in the post-merger signal of GW170817 has been recently claimed at 4.2σ4.2\sigma significance level. It has been speculated that the signal might provide evidence for near-horizon quantum structures in the remnant exotic object. We point out that if the remnant object is an ultracompact neutron star, echoes are expected for objects with radius only slightly smaller than that of an ordinary neutron star. The reported echoes at ~72 Hz are compatible with a toy model of incompressible star with mass approximately M(2,3)MM\in(2,3) M_\odot and radius close to the Buchdahl limit, R~9GM/(4c^2). If confirmed, low-frequency gravitational-wave echoes would be in tension with all current neutron-star models and would have dramatic implications for nuclear physics and gravity.Comment: v3: 4 pages, 2 figures, extended discussion, results unchanged. Version accepted in CQG Letter

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