Do superfluid instabilities prevent neutron star precession?

Glampedakis, K., Andersson, N. and Jones, D.I. (2009) Do superfluid instabilities prevent neutron star precession? Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 394, (4), pp. 1908-1924. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13995.x).


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We discuss short wavelength (inertial wave) instabilities present in the standard twofluid neutron star model when there is sufficient relative flow along the superfluid neutron vortex array. We demonstrate that these instabilities may be triggered in
precessing neutron stars, since the angular velocity vectors of the neutron and proton fluids are misaligned during precession. The presence of such an instability would render the standard, solid body rotation, model for free precession inconsistent. Our
results suggest that the standard (Eulerian) slow precession that results for weak drag between the vortices and the charged fluid (protons and electrons) is not seriously constrained by the existence of the instability. In contrast, the fast precession, which
results when vortices are strongly coupled to the charged component, is generally unstable. This implies that fast precession may not be realised in astrophysical systems.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13995.x
ISSNs: 0035-8711 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: dense matter, instabilities, stellar dynamics, stars: neutron, stars: oscillations, pulsars: general
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
ePrint ID: 54973
Date :
Date Event
April 2009Published
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:45
Further Information:Google Scholar

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