Volume 448, Number 1, March II 2006
|Page(s)||327 - 334|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||17 February 2006|
Population synthesis as a probe of neutron star thermal evolution
Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Universitetski pr. 13, 119992 Moscow, Russia
2 Department of Physics, Yerevan State University, Alex Manoogian Str. 1, 375049 Yerevan, Armenia
3 Institut für Physik, Universität Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany
4 Università di Padova, Dipartimento di Fisica, via Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy
5 Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
6 Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna, Russia
Accepted: 18 October 2005
The study of thermal emission from isolated, cooling neutron stars plays a key role in probing the physical conditions of both the star crust and the core. The comparison of theoretical models for the star thermal evolution with the surface temperature derived from X-ray observations of sources of different age is one of the main tools to investigate the properties of the interior and constrain the equation of state. Here we propose to use population synthesis studies as an independent approach to test the physics governing the star cooling. Theoretical distributions depend on the assumed neutron star thermal evolution. We have computed distributions for several different cooling scenarios and found that comparison with the observed of isolated neutron stars is effective in discriminating among cooling models. Among the eleven cooling models considered in this paper, all of which may reproduce the observed temperature vs. age diagram, only at most three can explain the distribution of close-by cooling neutron stars. The test, being a “global” one and despite some limitations, appears indeed capable to ideally complement the standard temperature vs. age test used up to now.
Key words: stars: evolution / stars: neutron / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2006
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