HEAD 2003 Meeting
Session 42. X-ray Binaries II
Oral, Tuesday, March 25, 2003, 4:30-5:30pm

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[42.01] Magnetic Field Evolution in the Burning Layer of an Accreting Neutron Star

A. Cumming (University of California, Santa Cruz), E. G. Zweibel (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Type I X-ray burst oscillations are a promising probe of the magnetic field strength and geometry in accreting neutron stars. Cumming and Bildsten showed that a field as weak as 106G could play a dynamical role during a burst. Key to interpreting the observations is understanding the evolution of the magnetic field in the outer layers of the neutron star. We show that thermomagnetic drift operates strongly in the accumulating layer, leading to growth of the magnetic field between bursts. We discuss the saturation and geometry of the magnetic field, its relation to the underlying stellar field, and the implications for the dynamics of flows during Type I bursts.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#2
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.