343 research outputs found

### Starquake-Induced Glitches in Pulsars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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