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Dynamical Stability of Nascent Neutron Stars


Liu, Yuk Tung (2003) Dynamical Stability of Nascent Neutron Stars. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/61ZS-XQ28.


This thesis presents a study of the dynamical stability of nascent neutron stars resulting from the accretion induced collapse of rapidly rotating white dwarfs.

Chapter 2 and part of Chapter 3 study the equilibrium models for these neutron stars. They are constructed by assuming that the neutron stars have the same masses, angular momenta, and specific angular momentum distributions as the pre-collapse white dwarfs. If the pre-collapse white dwarf is rapidly rotating, the collapsed object will contain a high density central core of size about 20 km, surrounded by a massive accretion torus extending to hundreds of kilometers from the rotation axis. The ratio of the rotational kinetic energy to gravitational binding energy, β, of these neutron stars is all found to be less than 0.27.

Chapter 3 studies the dynamical stability of these neutron stars by numerically evolving the linearized hydrodynamical equations. A dynamical bar-mode instability is observed when the β of the star is greater than the critical value βd ≈ 0.25. It is expected that the unstable mode will persist until a substantial amount of angular momentum is carried away by gravitational radiation. The detectability of these sources is studied and it is estimated that LIGO II is unlikely to detect them unless the event rate is greater than 10-6/year/galaxy.

All the calculations on the structure and stability of the neutron stars in Chapters 2 and 3 are carried out using Newtonian hydrodynamics and gravity. Chapter 4 studies the relativistic effects on the structure of these neutron stars. New techniques are developed and used to construct neutron star models to the first post-Newtonian (1PN) order. The structures of the 1PN models are qualitatively similar to the corresponding Newtonian models, but the values of β are somewhat smaller. The maximum β for these 1PN neutron stars is found to be 0.24, which is 8% smaller than the Newtonian result (0.26). However, relativistic effects will also change the critical value βd. A detailed post-Newtonian stability analysis has yet to be carried out to study the relativistic effects on the dynamical stability of these neutron stars.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Thorne, Kip S. (advisor)
  • Lindblom, Lee A. (advisor)
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:8 May 2002
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03112014-101628149
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8122
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:12 Mar 2014 16:28
Last Modified:11 Feb 2021 23:53

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