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Astron. Astrophys. 357, 1157-1169 (2000)

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Bulk viscosity in superfluid neutron star cores

I. Direct Urca processes in [FORMULA] matter

P. Haensel 1, K.P. Levenfish 2 and D.G. Yakovlev 2

1 N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Bartycka 18, 00-716 Warszawa, Poland (haensel@camk.edu.pl)
2 Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, Politekhnicheskaya 26, 194021 St.-Petersburg, Russia

Received 20 December 1999 / Accepted 23 March 2000


The bulk viscosity of the neutron star matter due to the direct Urca processes involving nucleons, electrons and muons is studied taking into account possible superfluidity of nucleons in the neutron star cores. The cases of singlet-state pairing or triplet-state pairing (without and with nodes of the superfluid gap at the Fermi surface) of nucleons are considered. It is shown that the superfluidity may strongly reduce the bulk viscosity. The practical expressions for the superfluid reduction factors are obtained. For illustration, the bulk viscosity is calculated for two models of dense matter composed of neutrons, protons, electrons and muons. The presence of muons affects the bulk viscosity due to the direct Urca reactions involving electrons and produces additional comparable contribution due to the direct Urca reactions involving muons. The results can be useful for studying damping of vibrations of neutron stars with superfluid cores.

Key words: stars: neutron – dense matter

Send offprint requests to: P. Haensel

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 5, 2000