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Neutron Star

Neutron Star

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Published by: akhileessss on Oct 07, 2009
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06/29/2010

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A
neutron star
is a type of remnantthat can result from thegravitational collapseof a massive star during aType II,Type Ib or Type Ic supernovaevent. Such stars are composed almost entirely of neutrons, which are subatomic particles without electrical chargeand roughly the same mass as protons. Neutron stars are very hot and are supported against further collapse because of thePauli exclusion principle. This principle states that no two neutrons (or any other fermionicparticle) can occupy the same place andquantum statesimultaneously. A typical neutron star has a massbetween 1.35 and about 2.1 solar masses, with a corresponding radiusof about 12kmif the Akmal-Pandharipande-Ravenhall (APR)Equation of state(EOS) is used.
 
 In contrast, theSun's radius is about 60,000 times that. Neutron stars have overall densities predicted by the APR EOS of 3.7×10
17
to 5.9×10
17
kg/m
3
(2.6×10
14
to 4.1×10
14
timesthe density of the sun),
which compares with the approximate density of anatomic nucleus of  3×10
17
kg/m
3
.
The neutron star's density varies from below 1×10
9
kg/m
3
in the crust increasingwith depth to above 6×10
17
or 8×10
17
kg/m
3
deeper inside.
 This density is approximatelyequivalent to the mass of the entire human population condensed into the size of a sugar cube.In general, compact stars of less than 1.44 solar masses, theChandrasekhar limit,arewhite dwarfs; above 2 to 3 solar masses (theTolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff limit), a quark star  might  be created, however this is uncertain.Gravitational collapsewill always occur on any star over 5solar masses, inevitably producing a black hole.
Contents
[hide]
[edit] Formation
As the core of a massive star is compressed during asupernova, and collapses into a neutron star,it retains most of itsangular momentum. Since it has only a tiny fraction of its parent's radius(and therefore itsmoment of inertiais sharply reduced), a neutron star is formed with very highrotation speed, and then gradually slows down. Neutron stars are known to have rotation periods between about 1.4 ms to 30 seconds. The neutron star's compactness also gives it very high
 
surface gravity, up to 7 × 10
12
m/s² with typical values of a few × 10
12
m/s² (that is more than10
11
times of that of Earth
 
). One measure of such immense gravity is the fact that neutron starshave anescape velocityof around100,000 km/s,about 33% of the speed of light. Matter falling onto the surface of a neutron star would be accelerated to tremendous speed by the star's gravity.The force of impact would likely destroy the object's component atoms, rendering all its matter identical, in most respects, to the rest of the star.
[edit] Properties
Gravitational light deflection at a neutron star. Due to relativistic light deflection more than half of the surface is visible (each chequered patch here represents 30 degrees by 30 degrees). Theradius of the star depicted here is double the size of itsSchwarzschild-Radius.
The gravitational field at the star's surface is about 2 × 10
11
times stronger than on Earth. Theescape velocity is about 100,000 km/s, which is about one third the speed of light. Such a stronggravitational field acts as a gravitational lens and bends the radiation emitted by the star such that parts of the normally invisible rear surface become visible.
Thegravitational binding energyof a neutron star with two solar masses is equivalent to the totalconversion of one solar mass to energy (from the law of mass-energy equivalence,
 E 
=
mc
2
).That energy was released during the supernova explosion.A neutron star is so dense that one teaspoon (5 millilitres
 
) of its material would have a mass over 5×10
12
kg.
The resulting force of gravity is so strong that if an object were to fall from just onemeter high it would only take onemicrosecond to hit the surface of the neutron star, and would do so at around 2000 kilometers per second, or 7.2 million kilometers per hour .
The temperature inside a newly formed neutron star is from around 10
 to10
However, the huge number of neutrinos it emits carries away so much energy that the temperature falls within a few years to around 1 million kelvin.
 
Even at 1 million kelvin,most of the light generated by a neutron star is in X-rays. In visible light, neutron stars probablyradiate approximately the same energy in all parts of visible spectrum, and therefore appear white.Theequation of state(EOS) for a neutron star is still not known as of 2009
. It is assumedthat it differs significantly from that of a white dwarf, whose EOS is that of a degenerate gaswhich can be described in close agreement with special relativity. However, with a neutron star the increased effects of general relativity can no longer be ignored.
Several EOS have been proposed (FPS, UU, APR, L, SLy, and others) and current research is still attempting toconstrain the theories to make predictions of neutron star matter.
 
This means that the relation between density and mass is not fully known, and this causes uncertainties in radius estimates.For example, a 1.5 solar mass neutron star could have a radius of 10.7, 11.1, 12.1 or 15.1
 
kilometres (for EOS FPS, UU, APR or L respectively).
All EOS show that neutroniumcompresses with pressure.
[edit] Structure
A model of a neutron star's internal structureCross-section of neutron star. Densities are in terms of 
 ρ
0
the saturation nuclear matter density,where nucleons begin to touch. Patterned after Haensel
et al .
, page 12Current understanding of the structure of neutron stars is defined by existing mathematicalmodels, but it might be possible to infer through studies of neutron-star oscillations. Similar toasteroseismology for ordinary stars, the inner structure might be derived by analyzing observedfrequency spectraof stellar oscillations.
On the basis of current models, the matter at the surface of a neutron star is composed of ordinaryatomic nucleicrushed into a solid lattice with a sea of  electronsflowing through the gaps between them. It is possible that the nuclei at the surface areiron, due to iron's high binding energyper nucleon.
It is also possible that heavy element cores, such as iron, simply drown beneath the surface, leaving only light nuclei like heliumandhydrogencores
. If the surfacetemperature exceeds 10
6
kelvin (as in the case of a young pulsar ), the surface should be fluidinstead of the solid phase observed in cooler neutron stars (temperature <10
6
kelvin)
.The "atmosphere" of the star is roughly one meter thick, and its dynamic is fully controlled bythe star's magnetic field. Below the atmosphere one encounters a solid "crust". This crust isextremely hard and very smooth (with maximum surface irregularities of ~5 mm), because of theextreme gravitational field.

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