Neutron Starquakes and Pulsar Periods


THE outer layers of neutron stars form a solid crust with a calculable rigidity (shear modulus) very soon after the stars are born. Subsequent changes in stellar shape from oblate toward spherical, as the neutron star angular velocity decreases, will induce stresses in the crust until the maximum shear strain which the solid can support is reached. Beyond this yield point there will be a sudden relaxation of the stress, and a very slight change in stellar shape and moment of inertia. The calculated accompanying jump in angular velocity is close to that which has been observed in a pulsar.

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RUDERMAN, M. Neutron Starquakes and Pulsar Periods. Nature 223, 597–598 (1969).

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