Research in Engineering and Aviation

Are Pulsar Glitches Triggered by a Superfluid TwoStream Instability?

March 2003

Author(s): N. Andersson, G. L. Comer and R. Prix

Journal: Physical Review Letters, v. 90, n. 9, 091101. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.091101

Abstract

Mature neutron stars are expected to have several superfluid components. Strong evidence for this is provided by the glitches that have been observed in dozens of pulsars. We describe a superfluid analog of the two-stream instability that is well known in plasma physics and provide arguments that this instability is likely to be relevant for neutron stars. This is a new physical mechanism which may play a key role in explaining the glitch mechanism and which could also prove to be relevant in laboratory experiments on various superfluid systems.

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