Heterogeneity of solid neutron-star matter: transport coefficients and neutrino emissivity

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Calculations of weak-interaction transition rates and of nuclear formation enthalpies show that in isolated neutron stars, the solid phase, above the neutron-drip threshold, is amorphous and heterogeneous in nuclear charge. The neutrino emissivities obtained are very dependent on the effects of proton shell structure but may be several orders of magnitude larger than the electron bremsstrahlung neutrino pair emissivity at temperatures ∼109 K. In this phase, electrical and thermal conductivities are much smaller than for a homogeneous bcc lattice. In particular, the reduced electrical conductivity, which is also temperature-independent, must have significant consequences for the evolution of high-multipole magnetic fields in neutron stars.

Keywords: dense matter; pulsars: general; stars: neutron

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2004.07834.x

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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