Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Pulsars A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Pulsars A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pulsars A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis

2 Pulsars The radiation beams sweep through space like lighthouse beams as the neutron star rotates

3 Why Pulsars must be Neutron Stars Circumference of NS = 2π (radius) ~ 60 km Spin Rate of Fast Pulsars ~ 1000 cycles per second Surface Rotation Velocity ~ 60,000 km/s ~ 20% speed of light ~ escape velocity from NS Anything else would be torn to pieces!

4 What can happen to a neutron star in a close binary system?

5 Matter falling toward a neutron star forms an accretion disk, just as in a white-dwarf binary

6 Accreting matter adds angular momentum to a neutron star, increasing its spin Episodes of fusion on the surface lead to X-ray bursts

7 A black hole is an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it.

8 Supernovae/Supernova Remnants Massive stars fuse heavier elements, up to Iron (Fe) Core is billions of Kelvin and greater than Chandrasekhar Limit (1.4 M sun ) Rapid collapse to neutron star Rebound of core results in expulsion of outer layers  Supernova Remnant

9 Before/After!

10 Tycho SNR (1572)


12 Supernova 1987A (light took 170,000 years to get here!)

13 Black Holes The Science Behind The Science Fiction

14 A black hole is an object whose gravity is so powerful that not even light can escape it.

15 Thought Question What happens to the escape velocity from an object if you shrink it? A. It increases B. It decreases C. It stays the same Hint:

16 Escape Velocity Initial Kinetic Energy Final Gravitational Potential Energy = = (escape velocity) 2 G x (mass) 2 (radius)

17 Eluding Gravity’s Grasp Earth: V esc = 27,000 miles/hour (11 km/s) Sun: V esc = 1.4 million miles/hour (600 km/s) Mass M Radius R Escape Velocity Speed Needed To Escape An Object’s Gravitational Pull

18 “Dark Stars” Rev. John Michell (1783) & Pierre-Simon Laplace (1796)  Speed of light  1 billion miles/hour (3x10 5 km/s) What if a star were so small, escape speed > speed of light? A star we couldn’t see! Earth mass: R  1 inch Solar mass: R  2 miles V esc = speed of light 

19 “Surface” of a Black Hole The “surface” of a black hole is the radius at which the escape velocity equals the speed of light. This spherical surface is known as the event horizon. The radius of the event horizon is known as the Schwarzschild radius.

20 3 M Sun Black Hole The event horizon of a 3 M Sun black hole is also about as big as a small city Neutron star

21 No Escape Nothing can escape from within the event horizon because nothing can go faster than light. No escape means there is no more contact with something that falls in.

22 Mass versus radius for a neutron star Objects too heavy to be neutron stars collapse to black holes

23 Neutron Star Limit Neutron pressure can no longer support a neutron star against gravity if its mass exceeds about 3 M sun Some massive star supernovae can make black hole if enough mass falls onto core

24 Singularity Beyond the neutron star limit, no known force can resist the crush of gravity. As far as we know, gravity crushes all the matter into a single point known as a singularity.

25 Singularity The shrunken star too small to be measured but with indefinite density

26 If the Sun shrank into a black hole, its gravity would be different only near the event horizon Black holes don’t suck!

27 Einstein’s theory of gravity is built on the principle that 1.The speed of light is constant. 2.As an object speeds up its clock runs faster. 3.The effects of gravity cannot be distinguished from the effects of acceleration. 4.Motion is a relative state.

28 How about if there is wind?

29 Speed of light is constant

30 Our conceptions of space and time has to be changed. Facts: Regardless of speed or direction, observers always measure the speed of light to be the same value. Speed of light is maximum possible speed. Consequences: –The length of an object decreases as its speed increases –Clocks passing by you run more slowly than do clocks at rest (example: solar wind particles)

31 Time dilation

32 Special Relativity: Length Contraction

33 Equivalence principle

34 Gravitational redshift

35 Gravity deforms space-time

36 Precession of Mercury’s orbit

37 Gravity bends the path of light

38 Geodesics in curved spacetime


40 Gravity bends the path of light

41 Light waves are stretched out leading to a gravitational redshift

42 Tidal forces near the event horizon of a 3 M Sun black hole would be lethal to humans Tidal forces would be gentler near a supermassive black hole because its radius is much bigger

43 Falling into a black hole Falling into a black hole gravitational tidal forces pull spacetime in such a way that time becomes infinitely long (as viewed by distant observer). The falling observer sees ordinary free fall in a finite time.

44 Falling into a black holes With a sufficiently large black hole, a freely falling observer would pass right through the event horizon in a finite time, would be not feel the event horizon. A distant observer watching the freely falling observer would never see her fall through the event horizon (takes an infinite time). Falling into smaller black hole, the freely falling observer would be ripped apart by tidal effects.

45 Falling into a black hole Signals sent from the freely falling observer would be time dilated and redshifted. Once inside the event horizon, no communication with the universe outside the event horizon is possible. But incoming signals from external world can enter. Time travel and other fairy tales…

46 Seeing black holes


48 How do we know it’s a BH? Nature is tricky: couldn’t it be another “small star” like a neutron star or a white dwarf? Measure mass of “X-ray star” by motion of its companion (a star like the sun) Mass > 3 solar masses  BH! Roughly a dozen BHs found this way (tip of the iceberg) Chandrasekhar

49 Black Hole Verification Need to measure mass —Use orbital properties of companion —Measure velocity and distance of orbiting gas It’s a black hole if it’s not a star and its mass exceeds the neutron star limit (~3 M Sun )

50 One famous X-ray binary with a likely black hole is in the constellation Cygnus

51 Gamma-Ray Bursts Brief bursts of gamma-rays coming from space were first detected in the 1960s

52 Observations in the 1990s showed that many gamma- ray bursts were coming from very distant galaxies They must be among the most powerful explosions in the universe—could be the formation of a black hole

53 Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts Observations show that at least some gamma-ray bursts may be produced by supernova explosions Some others may come from collisions between neutron stars

54 Quasars Small, powerful source of energy thought to be cores of distant spiral galaxies

55 Active galaxies are galaxies with exceptionally bright and compact nuclear regions, called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). The energy source of AGN is ultimately gravity, in the form of accretion of gas onto a super- massive black hole, one the most efficient engines in the Universe. Quasars and Active Galaxies

56 THE AGN ZOO: jet-powered radio lobes

57 What is the energy source of AGN? The one characteristic that all AGN share is fast variability, from which astronomers infer the size of the ‘central engine’.

58 A Unified Model for AGN Are the different classes of AGN truly different ‘beasts’? In the Unified Model for AGN, the apparent differences are mainly due to inclination effects. The ingredients are: the hole, the disk, the jet, some orbiting clouds of gas, plus a dusty torus that surrounds the inner disk.

59 A Unified Model for AGN

60 A Unified Model for AGN: observational confirmations

Download ppt "Pulsars A pulsar is a neutron star that beams radiation along a magnetic axis that is not aligned with the rotation axis."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google