Phase separation in the crust of accreting neutron stars

C. J. Horowitz, D. K. Berry, E. F. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Nucleosynthesis, on the surface of accreting neutron stars, produces a range of chemical elements. We perform molecular dynamics simulations of crystallization to see how this complex composition forms new neutron star crust. We find chemical separation, with the liquid ocean phase greatly enriched in low atomic number elements compared to the solid crust. This phase separation should change many crust properties such as the thermal conductivity and shear modulus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066101
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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