Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years

Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years
A tightly wound-up magnetic field used as initial state in the simulation. Credit: K. Gourgouliatos, R. Hollerbach, U. Durham, U. Leeds

A study of the evolution of magnetic fields inside neutron stars shows that instabilities can create intense magnetic hot spots that survive for millions of years, even after the star's overall magnetic field has decayed significantly. The results will be presented by Dr Konstantinos Gourgouliatos of Durham University at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) in Liverpool on Wednesday, 4th April.

When a massive star consumes its nuclear fuel and collapses under its own gravity in a supernova explosion, it can result in a neutron star. These very dense objects have a radius of about 10 kilometres and yet are 1.5 times more massive than the Sun. They have very and are rapid rotators, with some spinning more than 100 times per second round their axis. Neutron stars are typically modelled with a that has a north and south magnetic pole, like the Earth's. However, a simple 'dipole' model does not explain puzzling aspects of neutron stars, such as why some parts of their surface are much hotter than their average temperature.

Gourgouliatos and Rainer Hollerbach, of the University of Leeds, used the ARC supercomputer at the University of Leeds to run numerical simulations to understand how complex structures form as the magnetic field evolves inside a neutron star.

Gourgouliatos explains: "A newborn neutron star does not rotate uniformly - various parts of it spin with different speeds. This winds up and stretches the magnetic field inside the star in a way that resembles a tight ball of yarn. Through the computer simulations, we found that a highly wound magnetic field is unstable. It spontaneously generates knots, which emerge from the surface of the neutron star and form spots where the magnetic field is much stronger than the large-scale field. These magnetic spots produce strong electric currents, which eventually release heat, in the same way heat is produced when an electric current flows in a resistor."

Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years
The magnetic field structure after it has become unstable leading to the formation of knots and magnetic spots. Credit: K. Gourgouliatos, R. Hollerbach, U. Durham, U. Leeds

The simulations show that it is possible to generate a magnetic spot with a radius of a few kilometres and a in excess of 10 billion Tesla. The spot can last several million years, even if the total magnetic field of the neutron star has decayed.

The study may have wide implications for our understanding of neutron stars. Even with weaker overall magnetic fields could still form very intense magnetic hot spots. This could explain the strange behaviour of some magnetars, for example the exotic SGR 0418+5729, which has an unusually low spin rate and a relatively weak large-scale magnetic but erupts sporadically with high-energy radiation.


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More information: Magnetic axis drift and magnetic spot formation in neutron stars with toroidal fields, Gourgouliatos K. and Hollerbach, R., The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 852, Number 1, published 28 December 2017. arxiv.org/abs/1710.01338
Journal information: Astrophysical Journal

Citation: Magnetic hot spots on neutron stars survive for millions of years (2018, April 3) retrieved 21 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-magnetic-hot-neutron-stars-survive.html
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Apr 04, 2018
Sunspots on a neutron star. Those would be some rather impressive arcing effects. We can see the acs along with the arches of plasma along the magnetic lines connecting sunspots within a group, when they erupt they literally Spark across the plasma filaments and this can explode them and their coronal mass into space, we get these Coronal Mass Ejections from the sun fairly commonly.

While I would not expect much in the way of Mass leaving a neutron star, I can see the massive arcing that they are talking about in this article, even in a substance that is "Basically Neutral" such as a neutron star and the energy release and heat produced, as well as outbursts of energy in the x-ray and radio bands tends to show that it is electrical activity indeed, whether caused by the magnetics in a neutron star or across patches of differently charged 'generally neutral' plasmas that have been shown to arc. (neon sign is great example) and recent articles posit universe wide magnetic fields.

Apr 04, 2018
^^^^^^^ Don't tell that to the electric universe loons - they don't believe that neutron stars exist!

http://www.holosc...so-what/

Apr 04, 2018
Neutron star quakes have been observed for a while, now we know "lightning strike electrons" are denser than neutron stars, explains why electron hotspot activity survives.

Apr 04, 2018
That's a link to pride in - The gospel according to Saint E.U. holoscience.com/wp/synopsis/synopsis-12-so-what - never heard it, I thought E.U. was what we brexiters left in the mire.

Apr 04, 2018
I know, it's a sad state of affairs EU is not EU but The E.U. I feel sorry for the poor souls who believe electrons have electric currents, being an atheist i don't worship at the altar of The E.U.
That's a link to pride in - The gospel according to Saint E.U. holoscience.com/wp/synopsis/synopsis-12-so-what - never heard it, I thought E.U. was what we brexiters left in the mire.


Apr 04, 2018
Don't tell that to the electric universe loons - they don't believe that neutron stars exist!

Because there is no reason to rely on pseudoscientific claptrap when a real explanation is available, such as this;
http://adsabs.har...27..229H

Apr 04, 2018
@cd85, so you think a theory that relies on "external wave excitation by as yet an unexplained source" is superior to a fully detailed model? How does a "real explanation" have an "unexplained source?" You've given us chopped liver, friend, when we asked for steak.

Apr 04, 2018
Are you by any chance referring to Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the lady who had her Nobel prize refused - https://physicswo...scovery/

Because there is no reason to rely on pseudoscientific claptrap when a real explanation is available, such as this;
http://adsabs.har...27..229H


Apr 04, 2018
Were caught between a rock and a hard place; apparently only E.U. loons believe electrons have electric currents, that leaves us brexiters in a pickle, having to be tarred with same brush.

Apr 04, 2018
http://www.plasma...se.info/

The Plasma Universe and Plasma Cosmology have no ties to the anti-science blogsites of the holoscience 'electric universe'.
-Anthony Peratt

That's pretty definitive, I'd say. Dr. Peratt found it necessary to place this on his web site on plasma cosmology, and I guess we can all see why right here on physorg. He is a legitimate iconoclast, not a pseudo-scientist. I don't agree with his premise, but he's not making stuff up and he presents evidence to support his views, unlike the EU/Thunderdolts cult.

Now stop using Peratt to try to justify pseudoscience like EU. He doesn't agree with it, doesn't appreciate having his work and reputation slandered by you, and found it necessary to denounce you in public.

Apr 04, 2018
Don't tell that to the electric universe loons - they don't believe that neutron stars exist!

Because there is no reason to rely on pseudoscientific claptrap when a real explanation is available, such as this;
http://adsabs.har...27..229H


An ancient paper that has been debunked by subsequent observation. Not least of which, the detection of gravitational waves from the merger of two such objects, and the follow up observation of the EM effects from the merger. Including r-process nucleosynthesis. All of which matched remarkably with theory, but not with Peratt's claptrap. Which would also explain why said claptrap was only cited 3 times - all of them by the loon Thornhill!
Try to do better.

Apr 04, 2018
]Whole the trick is, the energy spreads across incredibly dense objects like the neutron stars incredibly slowly - by speed of few centimeters per second. It takes 1200 years for solar photons to reach the solar surface? Phew, the neutrino star's photons would require million years for it. Under such a circumstances it's not so strange, when neutrino stars represent very stable configurations.
The interior of a neutron star is likely a superfluid. Even the crust has extremely high thermal conductivity. Thanks to an electron gas throughout and areas with superfluid neutrons, electron and phonon-mediated thermal conductivities are 11 to 21 orders of magnitude larger than the thermal conductivity of diamond. https://www.phy.a...eddy.pdf

Apr 04, 2018
@jones, I prefer to reserve "debunked" for unsupported conjectures by the uninformed or dishonest that are incapable of testing, rather than valid hypotheses that have later been disproven. Peratt may have been wrong but he was neither dishonest nor uninformed when he made his hypotheses about the source of pulsars' signals. He is an iconoclast, not a crank.

Apr 04, 2018
Now stop using Peratt to try to justify pseudoscience like EU. He doesn't agree with it, doesn't appreciate having his work and reputation slandered by you, and found it necessary to denounce you in public.

Of course the lying POS da schnied thinks he knows what Peratt is thinking due to that statement. Obviously unawares Peratt was forced to put that disclaimer on the site against his wishes. Being the plasmauniverse domain is on a Los Alamos server he had to do so. Peratt has this to say about Dr. Don Scott's book 'The Electric Sky';
"It is gratifying to see the work of my mentor, Nobel Laureate Hannes Alfvén enumerated with such clarity. I am also pleased to see that Dr. Scott has given general readers such a lucid and understandable summary of my own work."
– Anthony L. Peratt, PhD, USC, Fellow of the IEEE (1999), former scientific advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and member of the Associate Laboratory Directorate of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Apr 04, 2018
@cantthink69, I quoted Peratt directly. There is no need to guess what Peratt is thinking; it's abundantly and unequivocally clear from what he says that he thinks you and all like you are cranks and is embarrassed by your attempts to use his legitimate work in your EU fantasies.

The obligatory conspiracy theory is just the icing on the cake. No one can "force" a scientist to put anything on his web page; if it is attempted he will just remove the page and publish it elsewhere, and if anyone tries to stop him he will denounce them in letters to the editors of various scientific journals of record. For a scientist with a good reputation (even an iconoclast) this is child's play. LANL would never live it down if they tried something like this and it would affect the quality of scientists they could get to work for them. And for what purpose? To try to guide science into error? Ludicrous.

And, of course, you're lying again.

Apr 04, 2018
I quoted him directly, and you don't know the back story. In addition to the quote about Dr. Scott's book, Peratt has published about a dozen papers with EU colleagues. Clearly you are making stuff up which you know nothing about. Liar!

Apr 04, 2018
@cd85, so you think a theory that relies on "external wave excitation by as yet an unexplained source" is superior to a fully detailed model?

Absolutely, especially when there is a real process described. The dentist drill lighthouse model is bollocks with it's pseudoscientific violation of known physics of neutrons.

Apr 04, 2018
@cd85, so you think a theory that relies on "external wave excitation by as yet an unexplained source" is superior to a fully detailed model?

Absolutely, especially when there is a real process described. The dentist drill lighthouse model is bollocks with it's pseudoscientific violation of known physics of neutrons.


Nope. Just the misunderstanding of scientifically illiterate EU-ists about known physics. In case it escaped your attention, we just detected GWs from two of these objects colliding. And studied the subsequent merged object in EM wavelengths, all of which matches theory, and does not match Peratt's ignored attempt to explain it otherwise.

Apr 04, 2018
Soon there will no physics left for us atheist loons to believe in

What with P.U. (plasma universe), E.U. (electric universe), P.C. (plasma cosmology) is there more? Take extracts from these theories that match reality, "reality" in the quantum world there's another Q.U. (quantum universe) ,with is corresponding R.U. (reality universe) and another G.W.S. (gravity is warped space) now who believes gravity is warped space…. We could go on and on and on.., soon all of physics will be tied up in these little packets that only loons believe and there will no physics left for us atheist loons to believe in.

Were caught between a rock and a hard place; apparently only E.U. loons believe electrons have electric currents, that leaves us brexiters in a pickle, having to be tarred with same brush.


Apr 04, 2018
Not having read "The Electric Sky" I will not comment, but I offer the following reviews in rebuttal to your claims: https://www.amazo...Number=1

Many of these mention the lack of supporting evidence for Dr. Scott's conjectures. Others mention extensive use of "looks like" non-quantitative arguments that don't stand up when quantitative analysis is performed. Quantitative analysis is the root of physics, and where it is avoided one cannot help but note that the arguments "look like" flummery and crankery. It's unfortunate that Dr. Peratt has chosen to endorse this book.

Apr 04, 2018
No one can "force" a scientist to put anything on his web page; if it is attempted he will just remove the page and publish it elsewhere, and if anyone tries to stop him he will denounce them in letters to the editors of various scientific journals of record

It's not his website, it's LANL's. He was in the process of publishing additional papers regarding the near-Earth plasmas witnessed by our ancestors, it was because of his use of LANL supercomputers during downtime for this research which someone "found out". There was a particular individual who had a personal vendetta, kinda like jonesdumb. He was threatened with claims he was infringing on national security issues because of some of the plasma physics involved. Clearly there are politics in the sciences, nor acknowledging is just naive.

Apr 04, 2018
It's unfortunate that Dr. Peratt has chosen to endorse this book.

It's unfortunate that so few "scientists" understand the actual physics involved. Peratt is keenly aware, one of the few who really understand why Alfvén and, now Dr. Scott, will be shown to be correct again.

Apr 04, 2018
Many of these mention the lack of supporting evidence

Oh, you mean like dark matter? 85-years and still counting, nothing to show.
How long has been spent looking for Scott's evidence, basically zero time.

Apr 04, 2018
@cantthink69, his name is on it and it's quite obviously a site he has personally maintained given the content of the links.

Where are his complaints that his content is compromised? Who is this mysterious person who has a "personal vendetta?" What is this supposed plasma physics involved with plasma cosmology that "infringes on national security?"

I am investigating this and all I am getting from you is another conspiracy theory. No evidence. Where's the beef?

Apr 04, 2018
It's unfortunate that Dr. Peratt has chosen to endorse this book.
It's unfortunate that so few "scientists" understand the actual physics involved.
There isn't any "actual physics," according to those reviews; that's exactly the problem. Just like you, it seems this book, "The Electric Sky," is long on claims and short on evidence.

Peratt is keenly aware, one of the few who really understand why Alfvén and, now Dr. Scott, will be shown to be correct again.
I thought you were denying Alfven's Theorem. If you're denying it, why are you now claiming it's correct? Make up your mind.

Many of these mention the lack of supporting evidence
Oh, you mean like dark matter? 85-years and still counting, nothing to show.
Except those pesky galaxy rotation curves, galaxy cluster dynamics, gravitational lensing where there's no visible matter, and separation of gravity effects from visible matter. You know, actual evidence and stuff.

Apr 04, 2018
I would also note that Peratt, in the paper linked by cantthink, does not dispute the existence of neutron stars, nor their make-up. Quite how EU-ists see this as supportive of their view that neutron stars don't exist is beyond me. It's a bit like another Peratt paper that cantthink linked, claiming that Peratt supported the EU view that Io's volcanoes were electrical woo, despite Peratt saying in the abstract that they were caused by tidal heating! Methinks they don't understand what they read. Also had a quick look through Peratt's 'Physics of the Plasma Universe', and neutron stars get a couple of brief mentions, but nothing about them not existing, or being something different to what they are known to be within mainstream astrophysics.
Therefore, I would suggest that Thornhill and cantthink's referencing of Peratt to back up their views on the non-exstence of neutron stars is wholly deceptive, and not in accordance with what Peratt himself wrote.

Apr 04, 2018
My feelings are hurt.

That you all are ignoring my crankery theory of 'Stupid Design' by riotously drunken godlings.

That explains EVERYTHING!

With the appropriate supporting lack of evidence.

Apr 04, 2018
Protons are still fluid at 1.4x10-15m diameter

("A newborn neutron star does not rotate uniformly - various parts of it spin with different speeds) in other words fluidity. At 6x10+17kg/m3 or 1/30 density of a blackhole; Neutron quakes indicate fluidity being supported against further collapse by neutron degeneracy pressure indicate the material is made of protons as a proton consisting of 3quarks +2/3 and 2x-1/3 equalling a neutral proton commonly called a neutron. A neutron star is made of close packed protons where there is 3.6x10+44 protons/m3 that is 1.4x10-15m diameter. A protons nuclear radius is 10-15m where as a proton is squashed to 1.4x10-15m diameter - this explains why a neutron star is fluid the protons electric field is allowing protons to slide past each other and there opposite number the electrons are nowhere near their lightning strike density.

Apr 06, 2018
And this is evidence that science does not know how to form celestial bodies and by what processes.
When the AETHER substance, which fills the infinite universe, forms matter, the first appears a quark gluon plasma from which a magnetor is formed, with a very high magnetic field level. In the following processes, quasars, pulsars and behind them a neutron star, made up of neutrons, and when it explodes, creates a supernova that decays into the clouds of gases from which stellar systems (sun and planets) are formed (under gravity). What some see as a neutron star, they are magnets or quasars, because they have the strongest magnetic fields. Everything else they see is "explosions of their maste".

Apr 06, 2018
Neutron stars are comprised of electrons and protons in its body surrounded by a compacted shell of heavy metal atoms , compressed on it surfare from the outer star material explosion in the nova that created it in its core, the magnetic field of a neutron star does on transfer that field thru the stars core its a surface field off the heavy metal atoms of its crusts layers ,having electron transfer off the surface but gravity hold so many free electrons in orbit around the star that theres more electrons than can mechanically tranfers thru the heavy metal atoms surface field so they make up an orbiting shroud field held by gravity while the surface field spins much faster inside that outer shroud of orbiting electron field making a dynamo effect to magnify the field strength on the whole.

Apr 08, 2018
The electrons and protons can not be mixed as a Russian salad, because the protons with the electron build a hydrogen atom and how this mixture of electrons and protons can be trapped in heavy metal armor. According to this "theory" it can be interpreted that the celestial bodies were first filled in the universe and in their armor they captured smaller products like these electron protons. Nebulous conclusions.

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