Understanding the nuclear physics of neutron stars with astrophysics
Nordita Astrophysics seminars
Wednesday 31 January 2018
to 14:30 at
Joonas Nättilä (Nordita)
Neutron stars are one of the most dense objects in the Universe. However, the exact description of the equation of state (EoS) of the cold ultra-dense matter inside them is still a mystery. In my talk, I will show how we can measure the size of some neutron stars using astrophysical observations of X-ray bursts that are produced by thermonuclear runaways in the uppermost layers of the star. Similar measurements can also be obtained by using pulse profiles from millisecond X-ray pulsars. There, the pulse profile itself encodes information from the curved spacetime and can then be used to constrain the compactness of the source. By measuring the size and compactness of neutron stars, we can then set constraints on the nuclear physics of the interiors and ultimately on the EoS of the cold dense matter.