Four-hair relations for differentially rotating neutron stars in the weak-field limit

Joseph Bretz, Kent Yagi, Nicolás Yunes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The opportunity to study physics at supra-nuclear densities through x-ray observations of neutron stars has led to in-depth investigations of certain approximately universal relations that can remove degeneracies in pulse profile models. One such set of relations determines all of the multipole moments of a neutron star just from the first three (the mass monopole, the current dipole and the mass quadrupole moment) approximately independently of the equation of state. These three-hair relations were found to hold in neutron stars that rotate rigidly, as is the case in old pulsars, but neutron stars can also rotate differentially, as is the case for proto-neutron stars and hypermassive transient remnants of binary mergers. We here extend the three-hair relations to differentially rotating stars for the first time with a generic rotation law using two approximations: a weak-field scheme (an expansion in powers of the neutron star compactness) and a perturbative differential rotation scheme (an expansion about rigid rotation). These approximations allow us to analytically derive approximately universal relations that allow us to determine all of the multipole moments of a (perturbative) differentially rotating star in terms of only the first four moments. These new four-hair relations for differentially rotating neutron stars are found to be approximately independent of the equation of state to a higher degree than the three-hair relations for uniformly rotating stars. Our results can be instrumental in the development of four-hair relations for rapidly differentially rotating stars in full general relativity using numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083009
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 19 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Four-hair relations for differentially rotating neutron stars in the weak-field limit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this