Durabiity of Neutron Star Crust

A. I. Chugunov, C. J. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


How long do neutron star mountains last? The durability of elastically deformed crust is important for neutron star physics including pulsar glitches, emission of gravitational waves from static mountains, and flares from star quakes. The durability is defined by the strength properties of the Yukawa crystals of ions, which make up the crust. In this paper we extend our previous results [Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 407, L54 (2010)] and accurately describe the dependence of the durability on crust composition (which can be reduced to the dependence on the screening length λ of the Yukawa potential). We perform several molecular dynamics simulations of crust breaking and describe their results with a phenomenological model based on the kinetic theory of strength. We provide an analytical expression for the durability of neutron star crust matter for different densities, temperatures, stresses, and compositions. This expression can also be applied to estimate durability of Yukawa crystals in other systems, such as dusty plasmas in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-125
Number of pages4
JournalContributions to Plasma Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • One component plasma


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