343 research outputs found

    Starquake-Induced Glitches in Pulsars

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    The neutron star crust is rigid material floating on a neutron-proton liquid core. As the star's spin rate slows, the changing stellar shape stresses the crust and causes fractures. These starquakes may trigger pulsar glitches as well as the jumps in spin-down rate that are observed to persist after some glitches. Earlier studies found that starquakes in spinning-down neutron stars push matter toward the magnetic poles, causing temporary misalignment of the star's spin and angular momentum. After the star relaxes to a new equilibrium orientation, the magnetic poles are closer to the equator, and the magnetic braking torque is increased. The magnitude and sign of the predicted torque changes are in agreement with the observed persistent spin-down offsets. Here we examine the relaxation processes by which the new equilibrium orientation is reached. We find that the neutron superfluid in the inner crust slows as the star's spin realigns with the angular momentum, causing the crust to spin more rapidly. For plausible parameters the time scale and the magnitude of the crust's spin up agree with the giant glitches in the Vela and other pulsars

    Neural Decision Boundaries for Maximal Information Transmission

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    We consider here how to separate multidimensional signals into two categories, such that the binary decision transmits the maximum possible information transmitted about those signals. Our motivation comes from the nervous system, where neurons process multidimensional signals into a binary sequence of responses (spikes). In a small noise limit, we derive a general equation for the decision boundary that locally relates its curvature to the probability distribution of inputs. We show that for Gaussian inputs the optimal boundaries are planar, but for non-Gaussian inputs the curvature is nonzero. As an example, we consider exponentially distributed inputs, which are known to approximate a variety of signals from natural environment.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figure

    Magnetars and pulsars: a missing link

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    There is growing evidence that soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) and anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) are isolated neutron stars with superstrong magnetic fields, i.e., magnetars, marking them a distinguished species from the conventional species of spindown-powered isolated neutron stars, i.e., radio pulsars. The current arguments in favor of the magnetar interpretation of SGR/AXP phenomenology will be outlined, and the two energy sources in magnetars, i.e. a magnetic dissipation energy and a spindown energy, will be reviewed. I will then discuss a missing link between magnetars and pulsars, i.e., lack of the observational evidence of the spindown-powered behaviors in known magnetars. Some recent theoretical efforts in studying such behaviors will be reviewed along with some predictions testable in the near future.Comment: Invited talk at the Sixth Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics, a tribute to Helmut A. Abt, July 11-17, 2002, Xi'an. To appear in the proceedings (eds. K. S. Cheng, K. C. Leung & T. P. Li

    R-mode oscillations and rocket effect in rotating superfluid neutron stars. I. Formalism

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    We derive the hydrodynamical equations of r-mode oscillations in neutron stars in presence of a novel damping mechanism related to particle number changing processes. The change in the number densities of the various species leads to new dissipative terms in the equations which are responsible of the {\it rocket effect}. We employ a two-fluid model, with one fluid consisting of the charged components, while the second fluid consists of superfluid neutrons. We consider two different kind of r-mode oscillations, one associated with comoving displacements, and the second one associated with countermoving, out of phase, displacements.Comment: 10 page

    Magnetic effects at the interface between nonmagnetic oxides

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    The electronic reconstruction at the interface between two insulating oxides can give rise to a highly-conductive interface. In analogy to this remarkable interface-induced conductivity we show how, additionally, magnetism can be induced at the interface between the otherwise nonmagnetic insulating perovskites SrTiO3 and LaAlO3. A large negative magnetoresistance of the interface is found, together with a logarithmic temperature dependence of the sheet resistance. At low temperatures, the sheet resistance reveals magnetic hysteresis. Magnetic ordering is a key issue in solid-state science and its underlying mechanisms are still the subject of intense research. In particular, the interplay between localized magnetic moments and the spin of itinerant conduction electrons in a solid gives rise to intriguing many-body effects such as Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) interactions, the Kondo effect, and carrier-induced ferromagnetism in diluted magnetic semiconductors. The conducting oxide interface now provides a versatile system to induce and manipulate magnetic moments in otherwise nonmagnetic materials.Comment: Nature Materials, July issu

    Lepton Acceleration in Pulsar Wind Nebulae

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    Pulsar Wind Nebulae (PWNe) act as calorimeters for the relativistic pair winds emanating from within the pulsar light cylinder. Their radiative dissipation in various wavebands is significantly different from that of their pulsar central engines: the broadband spectra of PWNe possess characteristics distinct from those of pulsars, thereby demanding a site of lepton acceleration remote from the pulsar magnetosphere. A principal candidate for this locale is the pulsar wind termination shock, a putatively highly-oblique, ultra-relativistic MHD discontinuity. This paper summarizes key characteristics of relativistic shock acceleration germane to PWNe, using predominantly Monte Carlo simulation techniques that compare well with semi-analytic solutions of the diffusion-convection equation. The array of potential spectral indices for the pair distribution function is explored, defining how these depend critically on the parameters of the turbulent plasma in the shock environs. Injection efficiencies into the acceleration process are also addressed. Informative constraints on the frequency of particle scattering and the level of field turbulence are identified using the multiwavelength observations of selected PWNe. These suggest that the termination shock can be comfortably invoked as a principal injector of energetic leptons into PWNe without resorting to unrealistic properties for the shock layer turbulence or MHD structure.Comment: 19 pages, 5 figures, invited review to appear in Proc. of the inaugural ICREA Workshop on "The High-Energy Emission from Pulsars and their Systems" (2010), eds. N. Rea and D. Torres, (Springer Astrophysics and Space Science series

    Higher Powers in Gravitation

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    We consider the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmologies of theories of gravity that generalise the Einstein-Hilbert action by replacing the Ricci scalar, R, with some function, f(R). The general asymptotic behaviour of these cosmologies is found, at both early and late times, and the effects of adding higher and lower powers of R to the Einstein-Hilbert action is investigated. The assumption that the highest powers of R should dominate the Universe's early history, and that the lowest powers should dominate its future is found to be inaccurate. The behaviour of the general solution is complicated, and while it can be the case that single powers of R dominate the dynamics at late times, it can be either the higher or lower powers that do so. It is also shown that it is often the lowest powers of R that dominate at early times, when approach to a bounce or a Tolman solution are generic possibilities. Various examples are considered, and both vacuum and perfect fluid solutions investigated.Comment: 30 pages, 9 figure

    A Stealth Supersymmetry Sampler

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    The LHC has strongly constrained models of supersymmetry with traditional missing energy signatures. We present a variety of models that realize the concept of Stealth Supersymmetry, i.e. models with R-parity in which one or more nearly-supersymmetric particles (a "stealth sector") lead to collider signatures with only a small amount of missing energy. The simplest realization involves low-scale supersymmetry breaking, with an R-odd particle decaying to its superpartner and a soft gravitino. We clarify the stealth mechanism and its differences from compressed supersymmetry and explain the requirements for stealth models with high-scale supersymmetry breaking, in which the soft invisible particle is not a gravitino. We also discuss new and distinctive classes of stealth models that couple through a baryon portal or Z' gauge interactions. Finally, we present updated limits on stealth supersymmetry in light of current LHC searches.Comment: 45 pages, 16 figure
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