Compact Stars

  • Hannu Karttunen
  • Pekka Kröger
  • Heikki Oja
  • Markku Poutanen
  • Karl Johan Donner


In astrophysics those stars in which the density of matter is much larger than in ordinary stars are known as compact objects. These include white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. In addition to a very high density, the compact objects are characterised by the fact that nuclear reactions have completely ceased in their interiors. Consequently they cannot support themselves against gravity by thermal gas pressure. In the white dwarfs and neutron stars, gravity is resisted by the pressure of a degenerate gas. In the black holes the force of gravity is completely dominant and compresses the stellar material to infinite density.


Black Hole Neutron Star Event Horizon White Dwarf Compact Star 
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Further Reading

  1. Chandrasekhar: The Mathematical Theory of Black Holes,Oxford University Press 1983.Google Scholar
  2. Frank, King, Raine: Accretion Power in Astrophysics, Cambridge Astrophysics series 21, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press 1992.Google Scholar
  3. Glendenning: Compact stars, Nuclear physics, Particlephysics and General relativity,Springer 1997.Google Scholar
  4. Lewin, van Paradijs, van den Heuvel (eds.), X-rayBinaries,Cambridge University Press 1995.Google Scholar
  5. Manchester, Taylor: Pulsars, Freeman 1977.Google Scholar
  6. Smith: Pulsars,Cambridge University Press 1977.Google Scholar
  7. Poutanen, Svensson: High energy processes in accreting black holes, Astronomical Society of Pacific Conference series Vol. 161, 1999.Google Scholar
  8. Shapiro, Teukolsky: Black Holes, White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars, Wiley 1983.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannu Karttunen
    • 1
  • Pekka Kröger
    • 2
  • Heikki Oja
    • 3
  • Markku Poutanen
    • 4
  • Karl Johan Donner
    • 5
  1. 1.Tuorla ObservatoryUniversity of TurkuPiikkiöFinland
  2. 2.HelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Observatory and University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  4. 4.Finnish Geodetic InstituteMasalaFinland
  5. 5.Finnish Geodetic InstituteHelsinkiFinland

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