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Title: THERMOPLASTIC WAVES IN MAGNETARS

Magnetar activity is generated by shear motions of the neutron star surface, which relieve internal magnetic stresses. An analogy with earthquakes and faults is problematic, as the crust is permeated by strong magnetic fields which greatly constrain crustal displacements. We describe a new deformation mechanism that is specific to strongly magnetized neutron stars. The magnetically stressed crust begins to move because of a thermoplastic instability, which launches a wave that shears the crust and burns its magnetic energy. The propagating wave front resembles the deflagration front in combustion physics. We describe the conditions for the instability, the front structure, and velocity, and discuss implications for observed magnetar activity.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Physics Department and Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 538 West 120th Street New York, NY 10027 (United States)
  2. Monash Center for Astrophysics and School of Physics, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800 (Australia)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364923
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 794; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; DEFORMATION; INSTABILITY; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NEUTRON STARS; NEUTRONS; SHEAR; STRESSES; SURFACES; VELOCITY