Journal Article

On the dynamics of mechanical failures in magnetized neutron star crusts

Yuri Levin and Maxim Lyutikov

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 427, issue 2, pages 1574-1579
Published in print December 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
On the dynamics of mechanical failures in magnetized neutron star crusts

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We consider the dynamics of a mechanical failure induced by a shear stress in a strongly magnetized neutron star crust. We show that even if the elastic properties of the crust allow the creation of a shear crack, the strongly sheared magnetic field around the crack leads to a back-reaction from the Lorentz force which does not allow large relative displacement of the crack surfaces. Instead, the global evolution of the crack proceeds on a slow resistive time-scale, and is unable to release any substantial mechanical energy. Our calculations demonstrate that for some magnetic-field configurations, the magnetic forces cause, effectively, a plastic deformation of the crust when the resulting elastic shear stress exceeds the critical value for the mechanical failure.

Keywords: stars: neutron

Journal Article.  3912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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