Rapidly spinning neutron stars

Rapidly spinning neutron stars - Rapidly spinning neutron...

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Rapidly spinning neutron stars Originally, a big star has a core 10,000's to 100,000's kilometers in radius (the whole star is even bigger!). Here the radius is used instead of the diameter, because what is important is how far each piece of the core is from the spin axis that goes through the exact center of the star. The core spins at 2 to 10 kilometers/second at the core's equator. If no external forces produce torques, the angular momentum is constant. During a supernova the outer layers are blown off and the core shrinks to only 10 kilometers in radius! The core angular momentum is approximately = 0.4× M×V×R and the mass M has stayed approximately the same. When the radius R shrinks by factors of 10,000's, the spin speed V must increase by 10,000's of times. Sometimes the neutron star suddenly shrinks slightly (by a millimeter or so) and it spins faster. The neutron star produces radiation from its strong magnetic field. This radiation is produced at the expense of the rotational energy and the angular momentum is not strictly conserved---it
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Rapidly spinning neutron stars - Rapidly spinning neutron...

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