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Journal Article

Gravitational Waves from Neutron Stars with Large Toroidal B-fields


Cutler,  Curt
Astrophysical Relativity, AEI-Golm, MPI for Gravitational Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Cutler, C. (2002). Gravitational Waves from Neutron Stars with Large Toroidal B-fields. Physical Review D, 66: 084025.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-542A-3
We show that NS's with large toroidal B-fields tend naturally to evolve into potent gravitational-wave (gw) emitters. The toroidal field B_t tends to distort the NS into a prolate shape, and this magnetic distortion can easily dominate over the oblateness ''''frozen into'' the NS crust. An elastic NS with frozen-in B-field of this magnitude is clearly secularly unstable: the wobble angle between the NS's angular momentum J^i and the star's magnetic axis n_B^i grow on a dissipation timescale until J^i and n_B^i are orthogonal. This final orientation is clearly the optimal one for gravitational-wave (gw) emission. The basic cause of the instability is quite general, so we conjecture that the same final state is reached for a realistic NS. Assuming this, we show that for LMXB's with B_t of order 10^{13}G, the spindown from gw's is sufficient to balance the accretion torque--supporting a suggestion by Bildsten. The spindown rates of most millisecond pulsars can also be attributed to gw emission sourced by toroidal B-fields, and both these sources could be observed by LIGO II. While the first-year spindown of a newborn NS is most likely dominated by em processes, reasonable values of B_t and the (external) dipolar field B_d can lead to detectable levels of gw emission, for a newborn NS in our own galaxy