Gravitational radiation from rapidly rotating nascent neutron stars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the secular evolution and gravitational wave signature of a newly formed, rapidly rotating neutron star. The neutron star may arise from core collapse in a massive star or from the accretion-induced collapse of a white dwarf. After a brief dynamical phase, the nascent neutron star settles into an axisymmetric, secularly unstable equilibrium state. Gravitational radiation drives the star to a nonaxisymmetric, stationary equilibrium configuration via the bar-mode instability. The emitted quasi-periodic gravitational waves have a unique signature: the wave frequency sweeps downward from a few hundred Hertz to zero, while the wave amplitude increases from zero to a maximum and then decays back to zero. Such a wave signal could be detected by broadband gravitational wave interferometers currently being constructed. We also characterize two other types of gravitational wave signals that could arise in principle from a rapidly rotating, secularly unstable neutron star: a high-frequency (f ≲ 1000 Hz) wave which increases the pattern-speed of the star, and a wave that actually increases the angular momentum of the star.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Hydrodynamics
  • Instabilities
  • Radiation mechanisms: nonthermal
  • Stars: neutron
  • Supernovae: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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