Gravitational waves and electromagnetic signals from merging neutron stars allow us to study the laws of physics in extreme environment that cannot be reproduced in laboratories on Earth. By observing these systems, we can improve our understanding of gravity, dense matter, nucleosynthesis, and astrophysical transients. To do so typically requires us to compare observations to modeled signals calibrated to the results of numerical simulations. In this talk, I will review open questions in physics and astronomy that can be addressed through the study of neutron star mergers, as well as discuss the current status of the merger simulations used to model observable signals powered by these merger events.
Followed by grad student discussion at 5:30