Luminous neutron stars
Andrei Beloborodov (Columbia U.)
January 15, 2015
Abstract: Neutron stars were discovered as radio pulsars in 1967. At a glance, canonical pulsars are fast-rotating magnetized spheres, which are observed to generate powerful beams of coherent radio waves and huge luminosity in gamma-rays. Their emission mechanism has remained a puzzle for four decades. Today, this puzzle can be fully resolved using first-principle numerical experiments. I will describe such an experiment and its first results. I will also discuss the most fascinating class of neutron stars — magnetars, whose activity is fed by the dissipation of magnetic energy. I will discuss the mechanism of hard X-ray emission from magnetars and the behavior of the solid crust broken by magnetic stresses.