The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 67–96 | Cite as

The maximum mass of neutron stars

  • G. Srinivasan


The maximum mass of neutron stars plays an important role in determining the end point of the evolution of massive stars. As the number of stellar mass black holes in binary x-ray sources grows, and as the mass spectrum of the black holes emerges, the value of the maximum mass of neutron stars has acquired great significance. Although it is now more than sixty years since the first attempt by Oppenheimer and Volkoff, no definitive answer can be given. This review will attempt to outline the main difficulties, both conceptual as well as technical, that stand in the way of a reliable estimate of the maximum mass. We shall also highlight how laboratory experiments, as well as astronomical observations, may help to clarify the true nature of the interior of neutron stars.

Keywords. Neutron stars, general relativity, equations of state, stability of stars 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Srinivasan
    • 1
  1. 1.Raman Research Institute, C.V. Raman Avenue, Sadashivanagar, Bangalore - 560 080, India IN

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