Neutron Stars as Dense Matter Laboratories
Montana State University
A neutron star comprises an ultra-strong metallic crust afloat on more than a solar mass of quantum liquid at supra-nuclear density. I will describe how interaction of the crust with the neutron superfluid it contains affects observed stellar rotational modes. I will demonstrate that neutron stars with crust magnetic fields of ~10^15 G ("magnetars") are susceptible to a thermal instability that melts the crust, leading to rapid field evolution and release of magnetic energy. Development of this instability could produce observed gamma-ray flares.
Date: Tuesday, 10 November 2009 Time: 16:00 Where: McGill University Ernest Rutherford Physics Building, R.E. Bell Conference Room (room 103) Contact: Vicky Kaspi