Deep crustal heating in a multicomponent accreted neutron star crust

Steiner (2012)

Figure: Several properties of an accreted crust based on the SLy4 equation of state.



In this paper, I performed the first multicomponent simulation of the inner crust of an accreting neutron star. In low-mass X-ray binaries, neutron stars accrete H and He from a main-sequence (or white dwarf) companion. The H is unstable to a thermonuclear explosion, i.e. an X-ray burst. These X-ray burst ashes are buried by subsequent accretion and continue to undergo several nuclear reactions which heat the crust, "deep-crustal heating". I constructed a quasi-statistical equilibrium model of the reactions in the crust and showed that the amount of heating depends on the nuclear symmetry energy.

These results are published in Phys. Rev. C 85 (2012) 055804 .

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