Axisymmetric magneto-plastic evolution of neutron-star crusts

K. N. Gourgouliatos, Sam Lander

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Magnetic field evolution in neutron-star crusts is driven by the Hall effect and Ohmic dissipation, for as long as the crust is sufficiently strong to absorb Maxwell stresses exerted by the field and thus makes the momentum equation redundant. For the strongest neutron-star fields, however, stresses build to the point of crustal failure, at which point the standard evolution equations are no longer valid. Here, we study the evolution of the magnetic field of the crust up to and beyond crustal failure, whence the crust begins to flow plastically. We perform global axisymmetric evolutions, exploring different types of failures affecting a limited region of the crust. We find that a plastic flow does not simply suppress the Hall effect even in the regime of a low plastic viscosity, but it rather leads to non-trivial evolution – in some cases even overreacting and enhancing the impact of the Hall effect. Its impact is more pronounced in the toroidal field, with the differences on the poloidal field being less substantial. We argue that both the nature of magnetar bursts and their spin-down evolution will be affected by plastic flow, so that observations of these phenomena may help us to constrain the way the crust fails.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3578–3587
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • MHD
  • Pulsars: general
  • Stars: magnetars
  • Stars: neutron

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