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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences


Publication details for Bernard Piette

Nelmes,S & Piette,B.M.A.G. (2012). Phase transition and anisotropic deformations of neutron star matter. Physical Review D: Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology 85(12): 123004.

Author(s) from Durham


The Skyrme model is a low energy, effective field theory for QCD that when coupled to a gravitational field provides an ideal semiclassical model to describe neutron stars. We use the Skyrme crystal solution composed of a lattice of α-like particles as a building block to construct minimum energy neutron star configurations, allowing the crystal to be strained anisotropically. We find that below 1.49 solar masses the stars’ crystal deforms isotropically and that above this critical mass, it undergoes anisotropic strain. We then find that the maximum mass allowed for a neutron star is 1.90 solar masses, in close agreement with a recent observation of the most massive neutron star yet found. The radii of the computed solutions also match the experimentally estimated values of approximately 10 km.