Extracting Physics from Accreting Neutron Stars

Dr. Renee Ludlam (host Krawczynski), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
April 6, 2018 at 2:15 pm
241 Compton
Event Description 

Neutron stars are the most extreme objects in the Universe that have a surface. The matter of which they are composed exist in an ultradense, cold state that cannot be achieved in Earth-based laboratories. A number of interesting physical properties can be ascertained from observing these sources during intense accretion episodes and even after accretion has stopped. During accretion, X-ray spectroscopy of the disk can be used to place limits on the extent of the neutron star, magnetic field strength, and probe the presence of boundary layer extending from the surface. Once accretion halts, X-ray observations can be used to measure the surface temperature of the neutron star and trace the cooling evolution as the core and surface equilibrate. I will discuss current efforts to use high energy observations related to spectroscopy and crustal cooling to extract important physics from these systems.

Coffee: 2:00pm, 241 Compton