General Relativity&Compact Stars

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Compact stars--broadly grouped as neutron stars and white dwarfs--are the ashes of luminous stars. One or the other is the fate that awaits the cores of most stars after a lifetime of tens to thousands of millions of years. Whichever of these objects is formed at the end of the life of a particular luminous star, the compact object will live in many respects unchanged from the state in which it was formed. Neutron stars themselves can take several forms--hyperon, hybrid, or strange quark star. Likewise white dwarfs take different forms though only in the dominant nuclear species. A black ... continued below

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Glendenning, Norman K. August 16, 2005.

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Compact stars--broadly grouped as neutron stars and white dwarfs--are the ashes of luminous stars. One or the other is the fate that awaits the cores of most stars after a lifetime of tens to thousands of millions of years. Whichever of these objects is formed at the end of the life of a particular luminous star, the compact object will live in many respects unchanged from the state in which it was formed. Neutron stars themselves can take several forms--hyperon, hybrid, or strange quark star. Likewise white dwarfs take different forms though only in the dominant nuclear species. A black hole is probably the fate of the most massive stars, an inaccessible region of spacetime into which the entire star, ashes and all, falls at the end of the luminous phase. Neutron stars are the smallest, densest stars known. Like all stars, neutron stars rotate--some as many as a few hundred times a second. A star rotating at such a rate will experience an enormous centrifugal force that must be balanced by gravity or else it will be ripped apart. The balance of the two forces informs us of the lower limit on the stellar density. Neutron stars are 10{sup 14} times denser than Earth. Some neutron stars are in binary orbit with a companion. Application of orbital mechanics allows an assessment of masses in some cases. The mass of a neutron star is typically 1.5 solar masses. They can therefore infer their radii: about ten kilometers. Into such a small object, the entire mass of our sun and more, is compressed.

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  • Summer Course Einstein 2005, El Escorial, Spain,August 1-5, 2005

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  • Report No.: LBNL--58640
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 891343
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc882387

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  • August 16, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2016, 2:46 p.m.

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Glendenning, Norman K. General Relativity&Compact Stars, article, August 16, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc882387/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.