Gravitational waves from low mass neutron stars

C. J. Horowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Low mass neutron stars may be uniquely strong sources of gravitational waves. The neutron star crust can support large deformations for low mass stars. This is because of the star's weaker gravity. We find maximum ellipticities ε (fractional difference in moments of inertia) that are 1000 times larger, and maximum quadrupole moments Q22 over 100 times larger, for low mass stars than for 1.4M neutron stars. Indeed, we calculate that the crust can support an ε as large as 0.005 for a minimum mass neutron star. A 0.12M star, that is maximally strained and rotating at 100 Hz, will produce a characteristic gravitational wave strain of h0=2.1×10-24 at a distance of 1 kpc. The gravitational wave detector Advanced LIGO should be sensitive to such objects through out the Milky Way Galaxy. A low mass neutron star could be uniquely identified from a large observed spin down rate and its discovery would have important implications for general relativity, supernova mechanisms, and possibly nucleosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103001
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 3 May 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Gravitational waves from low mass neutron stars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this