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Astron. Astrophys. 344, 371-375 (1999)

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Cooling of a rotating strange star with a crust

Y.F. Yuan 1,2 and J.L. Zhang 2

1 CCAST (World Laboratory), P.O. Box 8730, Beijing 100080, P.R. China
2 Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, Anhui, P.R. China (yfyuan@mail.ustc.edu.cn; jlz@ustc.edu.cn)

Received 4 May 1998 / Accepted 3 September 1998


As a strange star spins down, the nuclear matter in its crust contracts continuously into the quark core. The confined nuclear matter is dissolved into quark matter, liberating a lot of thermal energy. This process is called deconfinement heating. It is found that deconfinement heating dramatically changes the thermal evolution of a strange star. For a strange star with a strong surface magnetic field ([FORMULA] Gauss), the star heats instead of cooling during the first 10 years. Therefore, contrary to the previous studies, we conclude that there is evidence for strange quark matter, if a heating period is observed for a very young pulsar. For a strange star with a weaker magnetic field, the surface temperature is higher than that of a neutron star in the photon cooling era. This could also signal the existence of strange quark matter.

Key words: dense matter – elementary particles – stars: interiors – stars: neutron

Send offprint requests to: Y.F. Yuan, Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, P.R. China

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: March 10, 1999