[0904.1986] The Breaking Strain of Neutron Star Crust and Gravitational Waves

Authors: C. J. Horowitz (Indiana), Kai Kadau (LANL)

Date: 13 Apr 2009

Abstract: Mountains on rapidly rotating neutron stars efficiently radiate gravitational waves. The maximum possible size of these mountains depends on the breaking strain of neutron star crust. With multi-million ion molecular dynamics simulations of Coulomb solids representing the crust, we show that the breaking strain of pure single crystals is very large and that impurities, defects, and grain boundaries only modestly reduce the breaking strain to around 0.1. Due to the collective behavior of the ions during failure found in our simulations, the neutron star crust is likely very strong and can support mountains large enough so that their gravitational wave radiation could limit the spin periods of some stars and might be detectable in large scale interferometers. Furthermore, our microscopic modeling of neutron star crust material can help analyze mechanisms relevant in magnetar giant and micro flares.

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Apr 15, 2009

0904.1986 (/preprints)
2009-04-15, 16:12 [edit]

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