Gravitational wave damping of neutron star wobble

Cutler, Curt and Jones, David Ian (2001) Gravitational wave damping of neutron star wobble. Physical Review D, 63, (2), 024002-[9pp]. (doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.63.024002).


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We calculate the effect of gravitational wave (GW) back reaction on realistic neutron stars (NS’s) undergoing torque-free precession. By “realistic” we mean that the NS is treated as a mostly fluid body with an elastic crust, as opposed to a rigid body. We find that GW’s damp NS wobble on a time scale τθ∼2×105 yr [10-7/(ΔId/I0)]2(kHz/νs)4, where νs is the spin frequency and ΔId is the piece of the NS’s inertia tensor that “follows” the crust’s principal axis (as opposed to its spin axis). We give two different derivations of this result: one based solely on energy and angular momentum balance, and another obtained by adding the Burke-Thorne radiation reaction force to the Newtonian equations of motion. This problem was treated long ago by Bertotti and Anile, but their claimed result is wrong. When we convert from their notation to ours, we find that their τθ is too short by a factor of ∼105 for the typical cases of interest and even has the wrong sign for ΔId negative. We show where their calculation went astray.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.63.024002
ISSNs: 0556-2821 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
ePrint ID: 29273
Date Deposited: 12 May 2006
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2015 02:29

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