Neutron Star Superfluidity, Dynamics and Precession

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Basic rotational and magnetic properties of neutron superfluids and proton superconductors in neutron stars are reviewed. The modes of precession of the neutron superfluid are discussed in detail. We emphasize that at finite temperature, pinning of superfluid vortices does not offer any constraint on the precession. Any pinning energies can be surmounted by thermal activation and there exists a dynamical steady state in which the superfluid follows the precession of the crust at a small lag angle between the crust and superfluid rotation velocity vectors. At this small lag the system is far from the critical conditions for unpinning, even if the observed precession of the crust may entail a large angle between the figure axis and the crust’s rotation velocity vector. We conclude that if long period modulations of pulse arrival times and pulse shapes observed in a pulsar like the PSR B1828-11 are due to the precession of the neutron star, this does not have any binding implications about the existence of pinning by flux lines or the existence of Type II superconductivity in the neutron star.