Neutrino Transport in Strongly Magnetized Proto–Neutron Stars and the Origin of Pulsar Kicks: The Effect of Asymmetric Magnetic Field Topology

Dong Lai, Yong‐Zhong Qian
1998 Astrophysical Journal  
In proto-neutron stars with strong magnetic fields, the cross section for ν_e (ν̅_e) absorption on neutrons (protons) depends on the local magnetic field strength due to the quantization of energy levels for the e^- (e^+) produced in the final state. If the neutron star possesses an asymmetric magnetic field topology in the sense that the magnitude of magnetic field in the north pole is different from that in the south pole, then asymmetric neutrino emission may be generated. We calculate the
more » ... We calculate the absorption cross sections of and in strong magnetic fields as a function of the neutrino energy. These cross sections exhibit oscillatory behaviors which occur because new Landau levels for the e^- (e^+) become accessible as the neutrino energy increases. By evaluating the appropriately averaged neutrino opacities, we demonstrate that the change in the local neutrino flux due to the modified opacities is rather small. To generate appreciable kick velocity (∼ 300 km s^-1) to the newly-formed neutron star, the difference in the field strengths at the two opposite poles of the star must be at least 10^16 G. We also consider the magnetic field effect on the spectral neutrino energy fluxes. The oscillatory features in the absorption opacities give rise to modulations in the emergent spectra of ν_e and ν̅_e.
doi:10.1086/306203 fatcat:ulqelyjvb5gxzfizmwa3fhfk6a