Stability of hall equilibria in neutron star crusts

Pablo Marchant, Andreas Reisenegger, Juan Alejandro Valdivia, Jaime H. Hoyos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


© 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.. In the solid crusts of neutron stars, the advection of the magnetic field by the current-carrying electrons, an effect known as Hall drift, should play a very important role as the ions remain essentially fixed (as long as the solid does not break). Although Hall drift preserves the magnetic field energy, it has been argued that it may drive a turbulent cascade to scales at which ohmic dissipation becomes effective, allowing a much faster decay in objects with very strong fields. On the other hand, it has been found that there are "Hall equilibria," i.e., field configurations that are unaffected by Hall drift. Here we address the crucial question of the stability of these equilibria through axially symmetric (two-dimensional (2D)) numerical simulations of Hall drift and ohmic diffusion, with the simplifying assumption of uniform electron density and conductivity. We demonstrate the 2D stability of a purely poloidal equilibrium, for which ohmic dissipation makes the field evolve toward an attractor state through adjacent stable configurations, around which damped oscillations occur. For this field, the decay scales with the ohmic timescale. We also study the case of an unstable equilibrium consisting of both poloidal and toroidal field components that are confined within the crust. This field evolves into a stable configuration, which undergoes damped oscillations superimposed on a slow evolution toward an attractor, just as the purely poloidal one.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1 - 15, 
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number94
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

Product types of Minciencias

  • A1 article - Q1


Dive into the research topics of 'Stability of hall equilibria in neutron star crusts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this