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Astron. Astrophys. 349, 851-862 (1999)

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Fast rotation of strange stars

E. Gourgoulhon 1, P. Haensel 1,2,3, R. Livine 3, E. Paluch 3, S. Bonazzola 1 and J.-A. Marck 1

1 Département d'Astrophysique Relativiste et de Cosmologie - UPR 176 du CNRS, Observatoire de Paris, F-92195 Meudon Cedex, France (Eric.Gourgoulhon@obspm.fr)
2 N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Polish Academy of Sciences, Bartycka 18, PL-00-716 Warszawa, Poland (haensel@camk.edu.pl)
3 Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46, allée d'Italie, F-69364 Lyon, France

Received 10 May 1999 / Accepted 9 July 1999


Exact models of uniformly rotating strange stars, built of self bound quark matter, are calculated within the framework of general relativity. This is made possible thanks to a new numerical technique capable of handling the strong density discontinuity at the surface of these stars. Numerical calculations are done for a simple MIT bag model equation of state of strange quark matter. Evolutionary sequences of models of rotating strange stars at constant baryon mass are calculated. Maximally rotating configurations of strange stars are determined, assuming that the rotation frequency is limited by the mass shedding and the secular instability with respect to axisymmetric perturbarions. Exact formulae which give the dependence of the maximum rotation frequency, and of the maximum mass and corresponding radius of rotating configurations, on the value of the bag constant, are obtained. The values of [FORMULA] for rapidly rotating massive strange stars are significantly higher than those for ordinary neutron stars. This might indicate particular susceptibility of rapidly rotating strange stars to triaxial instabilities.

Key words: dense matter – stars: neutron – stars: pulsars: general

Send offprint requests to: P. Haensel

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: September 13, 1999