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Title: The breaking strain of neutron star crust

Mountains on rapidly rotating neutron stars efficiently radiate gravitational waves. The maximum possible size of these mountains depends on the breaking strain of neutron star crust. With multimillion ion molecular dynamics simulations of Coulomb solids representing the crust, we show that the breaking strain of pure single crystals is very large and that impurities, defects, and grain boundaries only modestly reduce the breaking strain to around 0.1. Due to the collective behavior of the ions during failure found in our simulations, the neutron star crust is likely very strong and can support mountains large enough so that their gTavitational wave radiation could limit the spin periods of some stars and might be detectable in large scale interferometers. Furthermore, our microscopic modeling of neutron star crust material can help analyze mechanisms relevant in Magnetar Giant and Micro Flares.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
  2. INDIANA UNIV
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
956356
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-09-00561; LA-UR-09-561
TRN: US201013%%71
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Science Magazine
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71; GRAIN BOUNDARIES; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; MOUNTAINS; NEUTRON STARS; STARS; STRAINS