Looking inside accreting neutron stars
We are living in interesting times for studies of neutron star interiors. With the discovery of two solar mass neutron stars and upcoming observations set to determine the moment of inertia and neutron star radius, the constraints on the equation of state of dense matter are tightening. In this talk, I will discuss these constraints and how we can go beyond them to get a closer look at the physics inside neutron stars. Accreting neutron stars are particularly interesting in this respect, because the accreted material explores the full range of physical conditions as it is compressed from the density of water at the neutron star surface to multiple times the nuclear density in the neutron star core. I will discuss the different pieces of physics we can constrain with observations of transiently accreting neutron stars in quiescence, when accretion has turned off and we can see emission from the neutron star directly. This includes the extremely neutron rich nuclei, superfluid neutrons, and nuclear pasta phases in the neutron star crust, and the heat capacity of the neutron star core.
Date: Thursday, 19 November 2015 Time: 11:30 Where: Université de Montréal Pavillon Roger-Gaudry, local D-460 Contact: Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo