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Astronomy - Astronomy, Observations and Techniques | Astrophysics of Neutron Stars

Astrophysics of Neutron Stars

Lipunov, Vladimir M.

Börner, G. (Ed.)

Translated by Wadhwa, R.S.

Original Russian edition published by Nauka, Moscow 1987

Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1992, XIII, 322 pp. 108 figs.


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  • About this textbook

The existence of neutron stars was not only a brilliant theoretical prediction, but also one of the most unexpected and astonishing discoveries of all heavenly bodies. Twenty-five years after the remarkable event of their discovery, neutron stars, which are the densest, the most strongly magnetized, and the most rapid­ ly rotating bodies in the Galaxy, remain objects of intense interest. This book is a revised and enlarged version of the original Russian edition. The last five years were marked by the discovery of a supernova in the closest galaxy and dozens of X-ray sources and millisecond pulsars, which apparently confirm the validity of the basic ideas underlying these discoveries. The author has concentrated on the astrophysical manifestations of neutron stars, which are believed mainly to be associated with the nature of their interaction with their surroundings. Naturally, this approach does not leave much room for a detailed description of the internal structure of these stars. Fortunately, there exists an excellent monograph by S. L. Shapiro and S. A. Teukolsky (Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars, Wiley, New York 1985) which deals mainly with the purely physical problems. Moreover, the publication of such a book in the West partly makes amends for the lack of information about the work being done by Soviet scientists in this field.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Akkretion - Magnetfelder - Neutron stars - Neutronensterne - Röntgenquelle - Sternenentwicklung - X-ray sources - accretion - magnetic fields - stellar evolution

Related subjects » Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Astrophysics and Astroparticles - Geophysics & Geodesy

Table of contents 

1. Theoretical and Observational Principles of the Astrophysics of Neutron Stars.- 1.1 Prediction.- 1.2 Accretion.- 1.3 Rotation and Magnetic Field.- 1.4 Radiopulsars.- 1.5 New Ideas.- 1.6 X-Ray Pulsars.- 1.7 X-Ray Bursters.- 1.8 Bursts and Other Sources of Gamma Rays.- 1.9 General View.- 2. Structure of Neutron Stars.- 2.1 Equilibrium of Stars.- 2.2 Exact Equilibrium Equations for Cold Stars.- 2.3 Physical Conditions Inside Neutron Stars.- 2.4 Parameters of Neutron Stars.- 2.5 Mass of Neutron Stars.- 2.6 Rotational Effects.- 3. Fluid Dynamics of Accretion.- 3.1 Spherically Symmetric Accretion.- 3.2 The Role of Radiation and Ejection.- 3.3 Spherical Accretion to a Neutron Star Without a Magnetic Field.- 3.4 Capture of Matter by a Moving Star.- 3.5 Fluid Dynamics of Cylindrical Accretion.- 3.6 Disk Accretion.- 3.7 Luminosity and Spectrum of Accretion Disks.- 3.8 Supercritical Disk Accretion.- 3.9 Accretion in Binary Systems.- 3.9.1 Overflow Through the Inner Lagrangian Point.- 3.9.2 Accretion from Stellar Wind.- 3.10 Two-Stream Accretion.- 3.11 Accretion of Magnetic Fields.- 4. Classification of Neutron Stars.- 4.1 Magnetic Dipole.- 4.2 Stopping Radius.- 4.3 Stopping Radius in the Supercritical Case.- 4.4 The Effect of a Magnetic Field.- 4.5 Gravimagnetic Parameter.- 4.6 Corotation Radius.- 4.7 Nomenclature.- 4.8 Critical Periods. The p-y and p-L Diagrams.- 5. Boundaries. Magnetospheres of Slowly Rotating Neutron Stars.- 5.1 Physical Conditions in the Alfvén Zone.- 5.2 Formulation of the Problem.- 5.3 Simple Configurations.- 5.4 Magnetosphere in Spherically Symmetric Accretion.- 5.5 Pascal’s Pressure Law.- 5.5.1 Two-Dimensional Solutions.- 5.5.2 Three-Dimensional Solutions.- 5.6 A Dipole Confined by an Ideally Conducting Disk.- 5.6.1 Two-Dimensional Model.- 5.6.2 Three-Dimensional Problem.- 5.6.3 Dipole Rotation.- 5.7 Magnetosphere in a Plane-parallel Plasma Flow.- 5.7.1 Two-Dimensional Solution.- 5.7.2 Three-Dimensional Solution.- 5.8 Two-Stream Accretion.- 6. Accreting Neutron Stars.- 6.1 Boundary Stability.- 6.1.1 Spherically Symmetric Accretion.- 6.1.2 Disk Accretion onto a Magnetized Neutron Star.- 6.1.3 Torsion of an Accretion Disk by Magnetic Forces.- 6.1.4 Magnetosphere Boundary Stability for Two-Stream Accretion.- 6.2 The Polar Column.- 6.3 Spin-up, Spin-down and Induced Precession of Accreting Stars.- 6.3.1 Spin-up Torque.- 6.3.2 Spin-down Torque.- 6.3.3 Analytical Model of Torques Applied to a Magnetized Accreting Star.- 6.3.4 Equilibrium Period.- 6.4 Observed Properties of X-Ray Pulsars.- 6.5 Energy Parameters of Pulsars and Transport of Matter in Binary Systems.- 6.6 Spectrum and Magnetic Fields.- 6.7 Periods of X-Ray Pulsars and Their Variation.- 6.7.1 Equilibrium of X-Ray Pulsars.- 6.7.2 Magnetic Fields of X-Ray Pulsars.- 6.7.3 Reasons Behind the Average Spin-up of X-Ray Pulsars.- 6.7.4 Rapid Fluctuation of Periods and Internal Structure of Neutron Stars.- 6.8 Variability of X-Ray Sources. Transients.- 6.9 Generation of Relativistic Particles.- 6.10 X-Ray Bursters.- 6.10.1 Localization and Spatial Distribution.- 6.10.2 Periodic Variations of X-Ray Flux. X-Ray Eclipses.- 6.10.3 Luminosity and Spectra of Bursters.- 6.11 Nuclear Burning at the Surface of Neutron Stars. Spherically Symmetric Model.- 6.12 Accretion to X-Ray Bursters.- 6.12.1 Accretion for ? Stars.- 7. The “Propeller” Regime.- 7.1 Quasistatic Shells.- 7.1.1 Supersonic Propeller.- 7.1.2 Subsonic Propeller.- 7.1.3 Very Rapid Propeller.- 7.1.4 Nongravitating Propeller.- 7.2 Spinning-down in the Boundary Layer.- 7.3 Two-Stream Flow Formation due to the Propeller Effect.- 7.3.1 Stationary Flow from Disks.- 7.3.2 Time-Dependent Solution.- 7.4 Dead Disks and Accumulator Disks.- 7.5 Nonstationary Disk Accretion. Model of Transient X-Ray Sources.- 7.6 Relativistic Propeller.- 7.7 Objects That Can Become Propellers.- 7.7.1 Binary Systems.- 7.7.2 Single Neutron Stars.- 8. Ejecting Stars.- 8.1 Observed Characteristics of Radiopulsars.- 8.1.1 Periods and Their Variation.- 8.1.2 Pulse Structure.- 8.1.3 Spectrum and Luminosity.- 8.1.4 Distribution of Pulsars in Space.- 8.1.5 Spatial Velocity of Radiopulsars.- 8.1.6 Pulsars and Binary Systems.- 8.2 Radiopulsars as Ejecting Neutron Stars.- 8.3 Pulsar Electrodynamics and Generation of Relativistic Particles.- 8.3.1 Vacuum Approximation.- 8.3.2 Magnetosphere in the Presence of Plasma.- 8.4 Mechanisms of Radiation.- 8.5 Caverns Around Neutron Stars.- 8.5.1 Caverns in Binary Systems.- 8.5.2 Caverns Around a Single Neutron Star.- 8.5.3 Effect of Relativistic Wind on Accretion Flow Parameters.- 8.6 Change in Radiopulsar Period.- 8.6.1 Spin-down of Pulsars and Their Magnetic Fields.- 8.6.2 Spin-up Episodes and Internal Structure of Neutron Stars.- 8.7 Evolution of Radiopulsars.- 8.7.1 Origin and Age of Pulsars.- 8.7.2 Evolution of the Radiopulsar Period.- 8.8 Spatial Velocities of Radiopulsars.- 8.9 Ejecting Stars in Binary Systems.- 8.9.1 Radiopulsars Forming Pairs with Degenerate Stars.- 8.9.2 “Reflection” Effect.- 8.9.3 Observational Evidence of the Existence of Ejecting Stars in Binary Systems.- 9. Supercritical Regimes.- 9.1 Superaccretor.- 9.1.1 Accretion Pattern.- 9.1.2 Neutrino Pulsar.- 9.1.3 Spin-up and Spin-down.- 9.2 Superejectors and Superpropellers.- 9.3 Is SS 433 a Superaccretor?.- 9.4 Other Candidates.- 10. Stars with an Anomalously Low Value of Gravimagnetic Parameter.- 10.1 Georotators.- 10.2 Binary Magnetic Systems (Magnetors).- 11. Evolution of Stars.- 11.1 Normal Stars.- 11.1.1 Single Stars.- 11.1.2 Binary Stars.- 11.2 Evolution of Neutron Stars.- 11.2.1 Evolution Equation.- 11.2.2 Statistical Description of the Ensemble of Neutron Stars.- 11.3 Neutron Star Tracks.- 11.4 Numerical Simulation of the Joint Evolution of Normal and Neutron Stars.- 11.4.1 Computational Method.- 11.4.2 Evolutionary Tracks.- 11.4.3 Simulation of X-Ray Pulsars (Stage IIA) and the Choice of Optimal Parameters.- 11.4.4 Abundance of Different Types of Systems in the Galaxy.- 11.4.5 Physical Characteristics of Neutron Stars at Various Stages of Evolution.- 11.4.6 Two Types of Radiopulsars.- 11.5 Possible Candidates.- 11.5.1 “Runaway” Stars.- 11.5.2 The SS 433 Object.- 11.5.3 “Single” Wolf-Rayet Stars.- 11.5.4 Collapse Anisotropy.- 11.5.5 Other Numerical Models.- Magnetohydrodynamic Instabilities.- Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) Instability.- Commutation Instability.- References.

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