DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stad1773 ISSN: 0035-8711

3D evolution of neutron star magnetic fields from a realistic core-collapse turbulent topology

Clara Dehman, Daniele Viganò, Stefano Ascenzi, Jose A Pons, Nanda Rea
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


We perform the first 3D fully coupled magneto-thermal simulations of neutron stars (including the most realistic background structure and microphysical ingredients so far) applied to a very complex initial magnetic field topology in the crust, similar to what was recently obtained by proto-neutron stars dynamo simulations. In such configurations, most of the energy is stored in the toroidal field, while the dipolar component is a few per cent of the mean magnetic field. This initial feature is maintained during the long-term evolution (∼106 yr), since the Hall term favours a direct cascade (compensating for Ohmic dissipation) rather than a strong inverse cascade, for such an initial field topology. The surface dipolar component, responsible for the dominant electromagnetic spin-down torque, does not show any increase in time, when starting from this complex initial topology. This is in contrast to the timing properties of young pulsars and magnetars which point to higher values of the surface dipolar fields. A possibility is that the deep-seated magnetic field (currents in the core) is able to self-organize in large scales (during the collapse or in the early life of a neutron star). Alternatively, the dipolar field might be lower than is usually thought, with magnetosphere substantially contributing to the observed high spin-down, via e.g. strong winds or strong coronal magnetic loops, which can also provide a natural explanation to the tiny surface hotspots inferred from X-ray data.

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