Jones, D.I. and Andersson, N.A.
Freely precessing neutron stars: model and observations
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 324, (4), . (doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2001.04251.x).
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We present a model of a freely precessing neutron star, which is then compared against pulsar observations. The aim is to draw conclusions regarding the structure of the star, and to test theoretical ideas of crust–core coupling and superfluidity. We argue that, on theoretical grounds, it is likely that the core neutron superfluid does not participate in the free precession of the crust. We apply our model to the handful of proposed observations of free precession that have appeared in the literature. Assuming crust-only precession, we find that all but one of the observations are consistent with there being no pinned crustal superfluid at all; the maximum amount of pinned superfluid consistent with the observations is about 10-10 of the total stellar moment of inertia. However, the observations do not rule out the possibility that the crust and neutron superfluid core precess as a single unit. In this case the maximum amount of pinned superfluid consistent with the observations is about 10-8 of the total stellar moment of inertia. Both of these values are many orders of magnitude less than the 10-2 value predicted by many theories of pulsar glitches. We conclude that superfluid pinning, at least as it affects free precession, needs to be reconsidered.
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