• Question: What will models of explosion on neutron stars Tell us about the stars?.

    Asked by 1234 to Alice on 16 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Alice Harpole

      Alice Harpole answered on 16 Mar 2016:

      The main motivation for my work is that it could help us indirectly work out the radius of neutron stars. As neutron stars are very small and very far away, it’s impossible for us to measure this directly and so our current estimates are quite rough – somewhere between 5-20km. The radius is important, as from this we can get a better idea of what’s happening inside the neutron stars. If they have a very small radius, then at their centre the material will be so dense that there could be some very strange physics happening there that might go beyond our current understanding of particle physics.

      In my work, I’m looking in particular at how the explosions work in very strong gravitational fields. This hasn’t really been looked at much before, so we hope to learn more about this.