Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 426, 267-277 (2004/10-4)
Temperature distribution in magnetized neutron star crusts.
GEPPERT U., KUEKER M. and PAGE D.
Abstract (from CDS):
We investigate the influence of different magnetic field configurations on the temperature distribution in neutron star crusts. We consider axisymmetric dipolar fields which are either restricted to the stellar crust, ``crustal fields'', or allowed to penetrate the core, ``core fields''. By integrating the two-dimensional heat transport equation in the crust, taking into account the classical (Larmor) anisotropy of the heat conductivity, we obtain the crustal temperature distribution, assuming an isothermal core. Including classical and quantum magnetic field effects in the envelope as a boundary condition, we deduce the corresponding surface temperature distributions. We find that core fields result in practically isothermal crusts unless the surface field strength is well above 1015G while for crustal fields with surface strength above a few times 1012G significant deviations from crustal isothermality occur at core temperatures inferior or equal to 108K. At the stellar surface, the cold equatorial region produced by the suppression of heat transport perpendicular to the field by the Larmor rotation of the electrons in the envelope, present for both core and crustal fields, is significantly extended by that classical suppression at higher densities in the case of crustal fields. This can result, for crustal fields, in two small warm polar regions which will have observational consequences: the neutron star has a small effective thermally emitting area and the X-ray pulse profiles are expected to have a distinctively different shape compared to the case of a neutron star with a core field. These features, when compared with X-ray data on thermal emission of young cooling neutron stars, would provide a first step toward a new way of studying the magnetic flux distribution within a neutron star.