Elasticity of Nuclear Pasta

M. E. Caplan, A. S. Schneider, C. J. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The elastic properties of neutron star crusts are relevant for a variety of currently observable or near-future electromagnetic and gravitational wave phenomena. These phenomena may depend on the elastic properties of nuclear pasta found in the inner crust. We present large-scale classical molecular dynamics simulations where we deform nuclear pasta. We simulate idealized samples of nuclear pasta and describe their breaking mechanism. We also deform nuclear pasta that is arranged into many domains, similar to what is known for the ions in neutron star crusts. Our results show that nuclear pasta may be the strongest known material, perhaps with a shear modulus of 1030 ergs/cm3 and a breaking strain greater than 0.1.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132701
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

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© 2018 American Physical Society.


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