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Presupernova Evolution of Rotating Massive Stars and the Rotation Rate of Pulsars

By SpaceRef Editor
January 21, 2003
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Astrophysics, abstract

From: Alexander Heger <>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 23:07:51 GMT (37kb)

Presupernova Evolution of Rotating Massive Stars and the Rotation Rate
of Pulsars

A. Heger (U Chicago),
S. E. Woosley (UCSC),
N. Langer (U Utrecht),
H. C. Spruit (MPA)

Comments: 10 pages, 2 figures, to appear in Proc. IAU 215 “Stellar Rotation”

Rotation in massive stars has been studied on the main sequence and during
helium burning for decades, but only recently have realistic numerical
simulations followed the transport of angular momentum that occurs during more
advanced stages of evolution. The results affect such interesting issues as
whether rotation is important to the explosion mechanism, whether supernovae
are strong sources of gravitational radiation, the star’s nucleosynthesis, and
the initial rotation rate of neutron stars and black holes. We find that when
only hydrodynamic instabilities (shear, Eddington-Sweet, etc.) are included in
the calculation, one obtains neutron stars spinning at close to critical
rotation at their surface — or even formally in excess of critical. When
recent estimates of magnetic torques (Spruit 2002) are added, however, the
evolved cores spin about an order of magnitude slower. This is still more
angular momentum than observed in young pulsars, but too slow for the collapsar
model for gamma-ray bursts.

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