Research in Engineering and Aviation

Waves and Instabilities in Dissipative Rotating Superfluid Neutron Stars

December 2007

Author(s): T. Sidery, N. Andersson, and G. L. Comer

Journal: Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society, v. 385, pp. 335-348. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.12805.x


We discuss wave propagation in rotating superfluid neutron star cores, taking into account the vortex-mediated mutual friction force. For models where the two fluids corotate in the unperturbed state, our analysis clarifies the role of chemical coupling and entrainment for sound and inertial waves. We also investigate the mutual friction damping, providing results that demonstrate the well-known fact that sound waves propagating along a vortex array are undamped. We show that the same is not true for inertial waves, which are damped by the mutual friction regardless of the propagation direction. We then include the vortex tension, which arises due to local vortex curvature. Focusing on purely transverse inertial waves, we derive the small correction that the tension induces in the wave frequency. Finally, we allow for a relative linear flow in the background (along the rotation axis). In this case we show how the mutual friction coupling may induce an instability in the inertial waves. We discuss the critical flow required for the instability to be present, its physical interpretation and the possible relevance it may have for neutron star physics.

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