Probing neutron star physics using accreting neutron stars
Astronomical Institute ”Anton Pannekoek”, University of
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We give an obervational overview of the accreting neutron stars systems as probes of neutron star physics. In particular we focus on the results obtained from the periodic timing of accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars in outburst and from the measurement of X-ray spectra of accreting neutron stars during quiescence. In the ﬁrst part of this overview we show that the X-ray pulses are contaminated by a large amount of noise of uncertain origin, and that all these neutron stars do not show evidence of spin variations during the outburst. We present also some recent developments on the presence of intermittency in three accreting millisecond X-ray pulsars and investigate the reason why only a small number of accreting neutron stars show X-ray pulsations and why none of these pulsars shows sub-millisecond spin periods. In the second part of the overview we introduce the observational technique that allows the study of neutron star cooling in accreting systems as probes of neutron star internal composition and equation of state. We explain the phenomenon of the deep crustal heating and present some recent developments on several quasi persistent X-ray sources where a cooling neutron star has been observed.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2010