Spin-up of a rapidly rotating star by angular momentum loss

Stuart L. Shapiro, Saul A. Teukolsky, Takashi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Can a rotating star spin up by radiating away its angular momentum? And if so, what can we infer about the properties of such a star? We show that the spin of a rapidly rotating star like a pulsar can indeed increase as it radiates away energy and angular momentum. For this to happen the adiabatic index governing the equation of state must be very close to 4/3 if the star is rotating uniformly. Otherwise the star must be rotating differentially.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L17-L20
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 2
StatePublished - Jul 1 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Pulsars
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: rotation
  • Stars: white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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