Magnetic fields in superconducting neutron stars

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Abstract

The interior of a neutron star is likely to be predominantly a mixture of superfluid neutrons and superconducting protons. This results in the quantization of the star's magnetic field into an array of thin flux tubes, producing a macroscopic force very different from the Lorentz force of normal matter. We show that in an axisymmetric superconducting equilibrium the behavior of a magnetic field is governed by a single differential equation. Solving this, we present the first self-consistent superconducting neutron star equilibria with poloidal and mixed poloidal-toroidal fields and also give the first quantitative results for the corresponding magnetically induced distortions to the star. The poloidal component is dominant in all our configurations. We suggest that the transition from normal to superconducting matter in a young neutron star may cause a large-scale field rearrangement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number071101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume110
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2013

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