General Relativistic Corrections to Flux for Rapidly Rotating Neutron Stars

Charlee M Amason
Neutron stars (NSs) are the densest known objects which are gravitationally stable (unlike, e.g., black holes, which have undergone gravitational collapse). This makes NSs ideal sites for studying how matter behaves under extreme conditions, in particular a state known as cold dense matter. Since cold dense matter cannot be produced on Earth, its equation of state (EOS) is one of the most highly sought after equations in physics. Measuring the exact radius R of a NS with mass M will impose
more » ... M will impose significant constraints on the EOS. One method of calculating NS radii involves measuring the variations in light emitted from the surface of a NS as it rotates; this allows us to determine a parameter known as its compactness (M/R). The value of this ratio can be used to rule out possible EOS. By simulating the spectral flux from a NS, we examine how this light is altered by relativistic bending from the star's surface, as well as by spin effects and atmospheric composition. ii "Try not to agonize over this, but you need a cool quote." Sharon Morsink iii Thank you to my supervisor, Sharon Morsink, for your support and guidance; to Gregory Sivakoff for much needed pep-talks during my first year in this program; to Craig Heinke for our discussions of hydrogen atmosphere physics; to my undergraduate professor Nicole Ackerman for your encouraging Skype talks; to the
doi:10.7939/r3-3bw9-3945 fatcat:ielxgds5rngshk73xoab6gpgma