AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 71. High Energy Astro and Neutron Stars
Oral, Tuesday, January 7, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 613-614

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[71.01] The R-modes in Accreting Neutron Stars with Magneto-viscous Boundary Layers

G. Mendell (LIGO Hanford Observatory), J. B. Kinney (Dept. of Physics, Princeton)

We explore the dynamics of the r-modes in accreting neutron stars in two ways. First, we explore how dissipation in the magneto-viscous boundary layer (MVBL) at the crust-core interface governs the damping of r-mode perturbations in the fluid interior. Two models are considered: one assuming an ordinary-fluid interior, the other taking the core to consist of superfluid neutrons, type II superconducting protons, and normal electrons. We show, within our approximations, that no solution to the magnetohydrodynamic equations exists in the superfluid model when both the neutron and proton vortices are pinned. However, if just one species of vortex is pinned, we can find solutions. When the neutron vortices are pinned there is much more dissipation than in the ordinary-fluid model, unless the pinning is weak. When the proton vortices are pinned the dissipation is comparable or slightly less than that for the ordinary-fluid model, even when the pinning is strong. We also find in the superfluid model that relatively weak radial magnetic fields ~ 109 G (108 K / T)2 greatly affect the MVBL, though the effects of mutual friction tend to counteract the magnetic effects. Second, we evolve our two models in time, accounting for accretion, and explore how the magnetic field strength, the r-mode saturation amplitude, and the accretion rate affect the cyclic evolution of these stars. If the r-modes control the spin cycles of accreting neutron stars we find that magnetic fields can affect the clustering of the spin frequencies of low mass x-ray binaries (LMXBs) and the fraction of these that are currently emitting gravitational waves.

This research was supported by NSF grant PHY-0096304.

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