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Three-dimensional Modeling of the Magnetothermal Evolution of Neutron Stars: Method and Test Cases

De Grandis, D; Turolla, R; Wood, TS; Zane, S; Taverna, R; Gourgouliatos, KN; (2020) Three-dimensional Modeling of the Magnetothermal Evolution of Neutron Stars: Method and Test Cases. The Astrophysical Journal , 903 (1) , Article 40. 10.3847/1538-4357/abb6f9. Green open access

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Abstract

Neutron stars harbor extremely strong magnetic fields within their solid outer crust. The topology of this field strongly influences the surface temperature distribution and, hence, the star's observational properties. In this work, we present the first realistic simulations of the coupled crustal magnetothermal evolution of isolated neutron stars in three dimensions accounting for neutrino emission, obtained with the pseudo-spectral code parody. We investigate both the secular evolution, especially in connection with the onset of instabilities during the Hall phase, and the short-term evolution following episodes of localized energy injection. Simulations show that a resistive tearing instability develops in about a Hall time if the initial toroidal field exceeds $\approx {10}^{15}$ G. This leads to crustal failures because of the huge magnetic stresses coupled with the local temperature enhancement produced by dissipation. Localized heat deposition in the crust results in the appearance of hot spots on the star surface, which can exhibit a variety of patterns. Because the transport properties are strongly influenced by the magnetic field, the hot regions tend to drift away and get deformed following the magnetic field lines while cooling. The shapes obtained with our simulations are reminiscent of those recently derived from NICER X-ray observations of the millisecond pulsar PSR J0030+0451.

Type: Article
Title: Three-dimensional Modeling of the Magnetothermal Evolution of Neutron Stars: Method and Test Cases
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/abb6f9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4357/abb6f9
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Magnetars; Neutron stars; Magnetohydrodynamical simulations; Pulsars; Stellar magnetic fields
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10115743
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