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main image
An r-mode of a rotating star, as seen by a nonrotating observer.

Theory

Astrophysics, Gravitational Physics, Gravitational Wave Phenomenology, Gravitational Wave Phenomenology

Neutron stars are laboratories for physics under extreme conditions, and may be detectable sources of gravitational waves. My particular interests center around and branch out from the r-modes, fluid oscillations which feed on gravitational waves while emitting them. The signals may carry information on gravitational and nuclear physics that can't be had in other ways.

What does an r-mode look like? You're watching one on the top right of this page. Imagine the dots as buoys floating on the surface and moved around by the r-mode, in addition to the counterclockwise rotation of the star. The lines indicate where chains of buoys would float. The red buoys would have a fixed latitude on an unperturbed star, so you can see that the star is rotating faster than the r-mode pattern speed.

(The fluid motion has no radial component, and is the same inside the star although smaller by a factor of the square of the distance from the center.)

Moving to a frame of reference corotating with the star, we see the picture at right. First you see that the fluid elements (red buoys) move in ellipses around their unperturbed locations. Second you see that the pattern speed is not keeping up with the rotation of the star, so in this frame the mode looks like it's moving backwards. This is why the mode is unstable to gravitational radiation through a 'two-stream' instability as described by Chandrasekhar, Friedman, and Schutz.

These images were made with Chad Hanna in 2003 and are available to anyone who wants to spice up their r-mode talk. More images are available on request.

You can download Mathematica notebooks that produce sequences of still GIFs used to produce these animated GIFs in the inertial and corotating frames. There is also an image and a notebook for an observer rotating around with the pattern speed of the mode.

This work was supported in part by NSF grant PHY-0245649; but any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

This research area provides opportunities for undergraduate research.

Publications

«  2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 · 2012 · All
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "All-sky Search for Periodic Gravitational Waves in the Full S5 LIGO Data," Phys. Rev. D 85, 022001 (2012)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Beating the spin-down limit on gravitational wave emission from the Vela pulsar," Astrophys. J. 737, 93 – 108 (2011)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts from Six Magnetars," Astrophys. J. Lett. 734, L35 (2011)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "A search for gravitational waves associated with the August 2006 timing glitch of the Vela pulsar," Phys. Rev. D 83, 042001 (2011)
A. Corsi and B. J. Owen, "Maximum gravitational-wave energy emissible in magnetar flares," Phys. Rev. D 83, 104014 (2011)
N. K. Johnson-McDaniel and B. J. Owen, "Shear modulus of the hadron-quark mixed phase", (2011) http://www.arxiv.org/abs/1110.4650
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "First search for gravitational waves from the youngest known neutron star," Astrophys. J. 722, 1504 – 1513 (2010)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for gravitational-wave inspiral signals associated with short Gamma-Ray Bursts during LIGO's fifth and Virgo's first science run," Astrophys. J. 715, 1453 – 1461 (2010)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for gravitational-wave bursts associated with gamma-ray bursts using data from LIGO Science Run 5 and Virgo Science Run 1," Astrophys. J. 715, 1438 – 1452 (2010)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Searches for gravitational waves from known pulsars with Science Run 5 LIGO data," Astrophys. J. 713, 671 – 685 (2010)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Waves from Compact Binary Coalescence in LIGO and Virgo Data from S5 and VSR1," Phys. Rev. D 82, 102001 (2010)
N. Yunes, R. OShaughnessy, B. J. Owen and S. H. S. Alexander, "Testing gravitational parity violation with coincident gravitational waves and short gamma-ray bursts," Phys. Rev. D 82, 064017 (2010)
B. J. Owen, "How to adapt broad-band gravitational-wave searches for r-modes," Phys. Rev. D 82, 104002 (2010)
J. Abadie, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Predictions for the Rates of Compact Binary Coalescences Observable by Ground-based Gravitational-wave Detectors," Class. Quantum Gravity 27, 173001 (2010)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Stacked Search for Gravitational Waves from the 2006 SGR 1900+14 Storm," Astrophys. Lett. 701, L68 – L74 (2009)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Waves from Low Mass Compact Binary Coalescence in 186 Days of LIGO's fifth Science Run," Phys. Rev. D 80, 047101 (2009)
P. Kalmus, K. C. Cannon, S. Marka and B. J. Owen, "Stacking gravitational wave signals from soft gamma repeater bursts," Phys. Rev. D 80, 042001 (2009)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Einstein@Home search for periodic gravitational waves in early S5 LIGO data," Phys. Rev. D 80, 042003 (2009)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Waves from Low Mass Binary Coalescences in the First Year of LIGO's S5 Data," Phys. Rev. D 79, 122001 (2009)
J. S. Read, B. D. Lackey, B. J. Owen and J. L. Friedman, "Constraints on a phenomenologically parameterized neutron-star equation of state," Phys. Rev. D 79, 124032 (2009)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Einstein@Home search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S4 data," Phys. Rev. D 79, 022001 (2009) Abstract/Comments
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "All-sky LIGO Search for Periodic Gravitational Waves in the Early S5 Data," Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 111102 (2009)
B. J. Owen, "How photon astronomy affects searches for continuous gravitational waves," Class. Quantum Gravity 26, 204014 (2009)
B. J. Owen, "Probing neutron stars with gravitational waves", (2009) http://www.arxiv.org/abs/0903.2603
B. Krishnan, B. J. Owen, R. Prix and A. M. Sintes, "Searching for isolated pulsars using Einstein@Home", (2008) Abstract/Comments
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Implications for the Origin of GRB 070201 from LIGO Observations," Astrophys. J. 681, 1419 – 1430 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Beating the spin-down limit on gravitational wave emission from the Crab pulsar," Astrophys. J. Lett. 683, L45 – L49 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search of S3 LIGO data for gravitational wave signals from spinning black hole and neutron star binary inspirals," Phys. Rev. D 78, 042002 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "All-sky search for periodic gravitational waves in LIGO S4 data," Phys. Rev. D 77, 022001 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for gravitational waves from binary inspirals in S3 and S4 LIGO data," Phys. Rev. D 77, 062002 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Waves Associated with 39 Gamma-Ray Bursts Using Data from the Second, Third, and Fourth LIGO Runs," Phys. Rev. D 77, 062004 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for Gravitational Wave Bursts from Soft Gamma Repeaters," Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 211102 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Astrophysically Triggered Searches for Gravitational Waves: Status and Prospects," Class. Quantum Gravity 25, 114051 (2008)
K. Wette, et al., "Searching for gravitational waves from Cassiopeia A with LIGO," Class. Quantum Gravity 25, 235011 (2008)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Coherent searches for periodic gravitational waves from unknown isolated sources and Scorpius X-1: results from the second LIGO science run," Phys. Rev. D 76, 082001 (2007)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Upper limit map of a background of gravitational waves," Phys. Rev. D 76, 082003 (2007)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Upper limits on gravitational wave emission from 78 radio pulsars," Phys. Rev. D 76, 042001 (2007)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for gravitational wave radiation associated with the pulsating tail of the SGR 1806-20 hyperflare of 27 December 2004 using LIGO," Phys. Rev. D 76, 062003 (2007)
M. Nayyar and B. J. Owen, "R-modes of accreting neutron stars as persistent sources of gravitational waves," Phys. Rev. D 73, 084001 (2006)
B. D. Lackey, M. Nayyar and B. J. Owen, "Observational constraints on hyperons in neutron stars," Phys. Rev. D 73, 024021 (2006)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Joint LIGO and TAMA300 search for gravitational waves from inspiralling neutron star binaries," Phys. Rev. D 73, 102002 (2006)
B. J. Owen, "Detectability of periodic gravitational waves by intial interferometers," Class. Quantum Gravity 23, S1 – S7 (2006)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "Search for gravitational waves from galactic and extra-galactic binary neutron stars," Phys. Rev. D 72, 082001 (2005)
B. Abbott, et al. (LIGO Scientific Collaboration), "First all-sky upper limits from LIGO on the strength of periodic gravitational waves using the Hough transform," Phys. Rev. D 72, 102004 (2005)
B. J. Owen, "Maximum elastic deformations of compact stars with exotic equations of state," Phys. Rev. Lett. 95, 211101 (2005)
B. J. Owen and I. Jones, "When do the pulsar upper limits become interesting?", (2004) , LIGO-T040192-00-Z
L. Lindblom and B. J. Owen, "Effect of hyperon bulk viscosity on neutron-star r-modes," Phys. Rev. D 65, 063006 (2002)
B. J. Owen and L. Lindblom, "Gravitational radiation from the r-mode instability," Class. Quantum Gravity 19, 1247 – 1254 (2002)
B. J. Owen, "Gravitational waves from bumpy neutron stars," Matt. Grav. 20, 5 (2002)
B. J. Owen, "Gravitational waves from the r-modes of rapidly rotating neutron stars", in Gravitational Waves, Ed.: S Meshkov (AIP, 2000) 523, p. 55-64
B. J. Owen, "Gravitational waves from neutron-star r-modes", in Gravitational waves and experimental gravity, Ed.: J Tran Thanh Van et al (Unspecified Publisher, 2000) p. 131-136
L. Lindblom, B. J. Owen and G. Ushomirsky, "Effect of a neutron-star crust on the r-mode instability," Phys. Rev. D 62, 084030 (2000)
L. Lindblom, G. Mendell and B. J. Owen, "Second-order rotational effects on the r-modes of neutron stars," Phys. Rev. D 60, 064006 (1999)
B. J. Owen, L. Lindblom, C. Cutler, B. F. Schutz, A. Vecchio and N. Andersson, "Gravitational waves from hot young rapidly rotating neutron stars," Phys. Rev. D 58, 084020 (1998)
L. Lindblom, B. J. Owen and S. M. Morsink, "Gravitational radiation instability in hot young neutron stars," Phys. Rev. Lett. 80, 4843 – 4846 (1998)

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Disclaimer
B. J. Owen : Neutron stars