From LMXBs to BMSPs: The Evolution of Neutron Star Masses
The recent discovery of several precisely-measured, high-mass neutron stars has tremendous implications for our understanding of the equation of state of matter at nuclear densities. Prior to these observations, the upper limit to the mass was not sufficiently robust to be useful as a tool for invalidating theoretical predictions of non-nucleonic components. Not only do these new results allow us to rule out certain exotic equations of state (e.g., hyperon or boson condensates), but it also places strong constraints on the likelihood that strange quark matter can support neutron stars this massive. In this talk I will briefly review the physical arguments and show how the progenitor X-ray binaries (LMXBs) could have formed and then evolve to the presently observed state. By analyzing the results of more than 100,000 binary evolutions, I will show that that the effects of self-induced X-ray irradiation cannot be neglected and conclude that the natal masses of neutron stars found in binary millisecond pulsars (BMSPs) are likely to deviate significantly from the canonical value of 1.4 Msun.
Date: Friday, 25 October 2013 Time: 11:00 Where: Université Laval Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, local 1661