962 research outputs found

### An unstable superfluid Stewartson layer in a differentially rotating neutron star

Experimental and numerical evidence is reviewed for the existence of a
Stewartson layer in spherical Couette flow at small Ekman and Rossby numbers
(\Ek \lsim 10^{-3}, \Ro \lsim 10^{-2}), the relevant hydrodynamic regime in
the superfluid outer core of a neutron star. Numerical simulations of a
superfluid Stewartson layer are presented for the first time, showing how the
layer is disrupted by nonaxisymmetric instabilities. The unstable ranges of
\Ek and \Ro are compared with estimates of these quantities in radio
pulsars that exhibit glitches. It is found that glitching pulsars lie on the
stable side of the instability boundary, allowing differential rotation to
build up before a glitch.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

### Radiative Precession of an Isolated Neutron Star

Euler's equations of motion are derived exactly for a rigid, triaxial,
internally frictionless neutron star spinning down electromagnetically in
vacuo. It is shown that the star precesses, but not freely: its regular
precession relative to the principal axes of inertia couples to the component
of the radiation torque associated with the near-zone radiation fields and is
modified into an anharmonic wobble. The wobble period \tau_1 typically
satisfies \tau_1 < 10^{-2}\tau_0, where \tau_0 is the braking time-scale; the
wobble amplitude evolves towards a constant non-zero value, oscillates, or
decreases to zero, depending on the degree of oblateness or prolateness of the
star and its initial spin state; and the (negative) angular frequency
derivative d{\omega}/dt oscillates as well, exhibiting quasi-periodic spikes
for triaxial stars of a particular figure. In light of these properties, a
young, Crab-like pulsar ought to display fractional changes of order unity in
the space of a few years in its pulse profile, magnetic inclination angle, and
d{\omega}/dt. Such changes are not observed, implying that the wobble is damped
rapidly by internal friction, if its amplitude is initially large upon
crystallization of the stellar crust. If the friction is localized in the inner
and outer crusts, the thermal luminosity of the neutron star increases by a
minimum amount \Delta L = 3*10^{31} (\epsilon / 10^{-12}) (\omega / 10^3 rad
s^{-1})^2 (\tau_d / 1 yr)^{-1} erg s^{-1}, where epsilon is the ellipticity and
\tau_d is the damping time-scale, with the actual value of \Delta L determined
in part by the thermal conduction time \tau_cond. The increased luminosity is
potentially detectable as thermal X-rays lasting for a time max(tau_d,tau_cond)
following crystallization of the crust.Comment: 28 pages, 5 figures, to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal
Astronomical Societ

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