Summary: K I T P
P u b l i c
L e c t u r e
S e r i e s
K A V L I I N S T I T U T E F O R T H E O R E T I C A L P H Y S I C S
The Forty-Sixth KITP Public Lecture
Sponsored by Friends of KITP
Edward van den Heuvel
Life After Stellar Death:
Supernovae, Neutron Stars, Pulsars and Black Holes
eutron stars are the most compact concentrations of "normal"
matter known in nature, with the strongest gravitational fields.
They are the collapsed remnants of the burned-out cores of stars
that started out life with masses larger than about eight times that of our sun.
Everything about neutron stars is extreme: their density, gravity, magnetic field
and spin. They are spheres not larger than New York City, which contain over
400,000 times the mass of Earth, so compressed that a thimblefull of their
material contains as much matter as half a million Boeing 747 Jumbo jets filled
with passengers and cargo. Their surface gravity attraction is a hundred billion