When two neutron stars
in a binary collide, they merge into a massive
object which most likely collapses to a black
hole. If, after the collapse, a significant
amount of matter remains outside the hole in
orbit around it, the system could drive a burst
of gamma ray emission which could be detected
on Earth. (Indeed, we may have already detected
gamma ray bursts associated with such events.)
In order to study the post-merger evolution
of binary neutron star systems, it is necessary
to carry out numerical simulations using the
equations of general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics.
In this talk, I will describe the first such
calculations. I will also discuss the challenges
involved in evolving spacetimes in general relativity.
Extensive prior knowledge in astrophysics should
not be required to follow this talk.