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Angular momentum transport in massive stars and natal neutron star rotation rates

Ma, Linhao and Fuller, Jim (2019) Angular momentum transport in massive stars and natal neutron star rotation rates. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 488 (3). pp. 4338-4355. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz2009.

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The internal rotational dynamics of massive stars are poorly understood. If angular momentum (AM) transport between the core and the envelope is inefficient, the large core AM upon core-collapse will produce rapidly rotating neutron stars (NSs). However, observations of low-mass stars suggest an efficient AM transport mechanism is at work, which could drastically reduce NS spin rates. Here, we study the effects of the baroclinic instability and the magnetic Tayler instability in differentially rotating radiative zones. Although the baroclinic instability may occur, the Tayler instability is likely to be more effective for AM transport. We implement Tayler torques as prescribed by Fuller, Piro, and Jermyn into models of massive stars, finding they remove the vast majority of the core’s AM as it contracts between the main-sequence and helium-burning phases of evolution. If core AM is conserved during core-collapse, we predict natal NS rotation periods of P_(NS) ≈ 50−200ms⁠, suggesting these torques help explain the relatively slow rotation rates of most young NSs, and the rarity of rapidly rotating engine-driven supernovae. Stochastic spin-up via waves just before core-collapse, asymmetric explosions, and various binary evolution scenarios may increase the initial rotation rates of many NSs.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Fuller, Jim0000-0002-4544-0750
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 July 17. Received 2019 July 17; in original form 2019 May 26. Published: 25 July 2019. We thank Yulin Gong for helpful comments on the manuscript, and Adam Jermyn and Anthony Piro for useful insights on the baroclinic instability. This research is funded in part by an Innovator Grant from The Rose Hills Foundation, the Sloan Foundation through grant FG-2018-10515, and by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through grant GBMF7392.
Group:TAPIR, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Rose Hills FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationFG-2018-10515
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF7392
Subject Keywords:instabilities – stars: evolution – stars: magnetic field – stars: massive – stars: neutron – stars: rotation
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190926-104424914
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Linhao Ma, Jim Fuller, Angular momentum transport in massive stars and natal neutron star rotation rates, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 488, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages 4338–4355,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98875
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:26 Sep 2019 18:25
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:42

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