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Presupernova Evolution of Rotating Massive Stars and the Rotation Rate of Pulsars

  • A. Heger (a1), S. E. Woosley (a2), N. Langer (a3) and H. C. Spruit (a4)

Abstract

Rotation in massive stars has been studied on the main sequence and during helium burning for decades, but only recently have realistic numerical simulations followed the transport of angular momentum that occurs during more advanced stages of evolution. The results affect such interesting issues as whether rotation is important to the explosion mechanism, whether supernovae are strong sources of gravitational radiation, the star's nucleosynthesis, and the initial rotation rate of neutron stars and black holes. We find that when only hydrodynamic instabilities (shear, Eddington-Sweet, etc.) are included in the calculation, one obtains neutron stars spinning at close to critical rotation at their surface – or even formally in excess of critical. When recent estimates of magnetic torques (Spruit 2002) are added, however, the evolved cores spin about an order of magnitude slower. This is still more angular momentum than observed in young pulsars, but too slow for the collapsar model for gamma-ray bursts.

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Presupernova Evolution of Rotating Massive Stars and the Rotation Rate of Pulsars

  • A. Heger (a1), S. E. Woosley (a2), N. Langer (a3) and H. C. Spruit (a4)

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