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Title: DETERMINING NEUTRON STAR MASSES AND RADII USING ENERGY-RESOLVED WAVEFORMS OF X-RAY BURST OSCILLATIONS

Simultaneous, precise measurements of the mass M and radius R of neutron stars can yield uniquely valuable information about the still uncertain properties of cold matter at several times the density of nuclear matter. One method that could be used to measure M and R is to analyze the energy-dependent waveforms of the X-ray flux oscillations seen during some thermonuclear bursts from some neutron stars. These oscillations are thought to be produced by X-ray emission from hotter regions on the surface of the star that are rotating at or near the spin frequency of the star. Here we explore how well M and R could be determined by generating and analyzing, using Bayesian techniques, synthetic energy-resolved X-ray data that we produce assuming a future space mission having 2-30 keV energy coverage and an effective area of 10 m{sup 2}, such as the proposed Large Observatory for X-Ray Timing or Advanced X-Ray Timing Array missions. We find that waveforms from hot spots within 10° of the rotation equator usually constrain both M and R with an uncertainty of about 10%, if there are 10{sup 6} total counts from the spot, whereas waveforms from spots within 20° of the rotation pole providemore » no useful constraints. The constraints we report can usually be achieved even if the burst oscillations vary with time and data from multiple bursts must be used to obtain 10{sup 6} counts from the hot spot. This is therefore a promising method to constrain M and R tightly enough to discriminate strongly between competing models of cold, high-density matter.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Center for Theoretical Astrophysics and Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1110 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801-3080 (United States)
  2. Department of Astronomy and Joint Space-Science Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States)
  3. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai 400005 (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270897
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 776; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; ENERGY DEPENDENCE; EQUATIONS OF STATE; KEV RANGE; LIMITING VALUES; MASS; NEUTRON STARS; OSCILLATIONS; ROTATION; THERMONUCLEAR REACTIONS; WAVE FORMS; X RADIATION