|Ort / Place
Physik Campus Riedberg, Max-von-Laue-Str. 1, 60438 Frankfurt
Großer Hörsaal, Raum 0.111
Zeit / Time
Mittwochs / Wednesday , 16.00 Uhr c.t.
|Prof. Dr. Anna Watts
University of Amsterdam
Neutron stars in the spotlight
Densities in neutron star cores can reach up to ten times the density of a normal atomic nucleus, and the stabilising effect of gravitational confinement permits long-timescale weak interactions. This generates matter that is neutron-rich, and opens up the possibility of stable states of strange matter. Our uncertainty about the nature of matter under these conditions is encoded in the Equation of State, which can be linked to macroscopic observables like mass, radius, tidal deformation or moment of inertia. One very promising technique for measuring the EOS exploits hotspots that form on the neutron star surface due to the pulsar mechanism, accretion streams, or during thermonuclear explosions in the neutron star ocean. How the spots form is not always clear, and I will discuss some of the unsolved puzzles related to spot generation. I will then explain how the hotspot technique is being used by NICER, an X-ray telescope installed last year on the International Space Station - and why the technique is a mission driver for the next, larger-area generation of telescopes.
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