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Neutron Stars as Dense Matter Laboratories

Bennett Link

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

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