3,215 research outputs found

    Direct Urca processes on nucleons in cooling neutron stars

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    We use the field theoretical model to perform relativistic calculations of neutrino energy losses caused by the direct Urca processes on nucleons in the degenerate baryon matter. By our analysis, the direct neutron decay in the superdense nuclear matter under beta equilibrium is open only due to the isovector meson fields, which create a large energy gap between protons and neutrons in the medium. Our expression for the neutrino energy losses, obtained in the mean field approximation, incorporates the effects of nucleon recoil, parity violation, weak magnetism, and pseudoscalar interaction. For numerical testing of our formula, we use a self-consistent relativistic model of the multicomponent baryon matter. The relativistic emissivity of the direct Urca reactions is found substantially larger than predicted in the non-relativistic approach. We found that, due to weak magnetism effects, relativistic emissivities increase by approximately 40-50%, while the pseudoscalar interaction only slightly suppresses the energy losses, approximately by 5%.Comment: 21 pages, 2 figure

    A Revised Parallax and its Implications for RX J185635-3754

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    New astrometric analysis of four WFPC2 images of the isolated neutron star RX J185635-3754 show that its distance is 117 +/- 12 pc, nearly double the originally published distance. At the revised distance, the star's age is 5 x 10^5 years, its space velocity is about 185 km/s, and its radiation radius inferred from thermal emission is approximately 15 km, in the range of many equations of state both with and without exotic matter. These measurements remove observational support for an extremely soft equation of state. The star's birthplace is still likely to be in the Upper Sco association, but a connection with zeta Oph is now unlikely.Comment: submitted to ApJ Letter

    Constraints on the Symmetry Energy Using the Mass-Radius Relation of Neutron Stars

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    The nuclear symmetry energy is intimately connected with nuclear astrophysics. This contribution focuses on the estimation of the symmetry energy from experiment and how it is related to the structure of neutron stars. The most important connection is between the radii of neutron stars and the pressure of neutron star matter in the vicinity of the nuclear saturation density nsn_s. This pressure is essentially controlled by the nuclear symmetry energy parameters SvS_v and LL, the first two coefficients of a Taylor expansion of the symmetry energy around nsn_s. We discuss constraints on these parameters that can be found from nuclear experiments. We demonstrate that these constraints are largely model-independent by deriving them qualitatively from a simple nuclear model. We also summarize how recent theoretical studies of pure neutron matter can reinforce these constraints. To date, several different astrophysical measurements of neutron star radii have been attempted. Attention is focused on photospheric radius expansion bursts and on thermal emissions from quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries. While none of these observations can, at the present time, determine individual neutron star radii to better than 20% accuracy, the body of observations can be used with Bayesian techniques to effectively constrain them to higher precision. These techniques invert the structure equations and obtain estimates of the pressure-density relation of neutron star matter, not only near nsn_s, but up to the highest densities found in neutron star interiors. The estimates we derive for neutron star radii are in concordance with predictions from nuclear experiment and theory.Comment: 24 pages, 13 figure
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