CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2006
 30 March 2006

30 March 2006

Speaker: Rosalba Perna (University of Colorado)

Title:The many lives of Neutron Stars

Abstract: Neutron stars are the most common end state of stars and hundreds of millions of them populate the Galaxy. Despite the fact that several of their properties, such as their mass and composition, vary over relatively narrow ranges, neutron stars give rise to a bewildering zoo of observational properties. In this talk, I will review the main characteristics of the various classes of neutron stars, highlighting differences and connections, and the extent to which these are due to intrinsic versus environmental properties. In particular, I will focus on the origin of the quiescent X-ray emission in Anomalous X-ray pulsars and Soft Gamma-Ray repeaters, the relation between jets in radio pulsars and their anomalous braking indices, and the ultimate fate of the large number of old, isolated neutron stars in the Galaxy. I will finally show how the statistical properties of radio pulsars associated with giant HI supershells can be used to constrain neutron stars birth parameters, and hence better understand the physics of supernova explosions.

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