Burst Oscillations and Non-Radial Oscillations of Neutron Stars

Anthony L Piro

UC Santa Barbara


Accreting neutron stars often show coherent modulations during type I X-ray bursts, called burst oscillations. Recently there has been much theoretical work suggesting that a nonradial mode can serve as an explanation. After reviewing the phenomenology of burst oscillations, I will discuss the basics of shallow ocean waves in the context of neutron stars, including the interesting complications brought about by rotation. We find that a surface wave in the shallow burning layer evolves into a crustal interface wave as the envelope cools, a new and previously uninvestigated phenomenon. This provides frequencies and drifts that match those observed, and furthermore, the drifts can be used as a probe of the neutron star crust. By modeling the pulsed emission we can begin the exciting process of using burst oscillations to learn about the properties of these accreting neutron stars.


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