"What Sets the Maximum Spin Rate of Neutron Stars"

"What Sets the Maximum Spin Rate of Neutron Stars"

Neutron stars are observed to rotate as fast as 716 Hz. Astrophysicists believe that they are spun-up by accretion of matter and angular momentum in binary star systems. However, the "r-mode" instability of rotating neutron stars, which is driven by gravitational radiation reaction, appears to prevent spin up via accretion to rotation frequencies above about 350 Hz.

Date

October 19, 2011 - 11:00am

Location

Marcus Nanotech Conf.

Neutron stars are observed to rotate as fast as 716 Hz. Astrophysicists believe that they are spun-up by accretion of matter and angular momentum in binary star systems. However, the "r-mode" instability of rotating neutron stars, which is driven by gravitational radiation reaction, appears to prevent spin up via accretion to rotation frequencies above about 350 Hz.