Studying the 'mountains' and 'starquakes' that develop on neutron stars

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 - 12:14 in Astronomy & Space

( -- Neutron stars have the potential to play an important role in understanding some of the mysteries of the universe. One of factors that could help lead to an understanding of gravitational waves and the mechanisms involved in giant flares in magnetars is the strength of the crust that forms on the outside of a neutron star. In an effort to better understand the neutron star crusts, Charles Horowitz, at Indiana University in Bloomington, and his colleague Kai Kadau, at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, have used molecular dynamics to model neutron stars and come up with improved estimates of the breaking strain.

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