Prospects for neutron star equation of state constraints using “recycled” millisecond pulsars
Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, 10027, New York, NY, USA
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Accepted: 26 October 2015
Published online: 26 February 2016
“Recycled” millisecond pulsars are a variety of rapidly spinning neutron stars that typically show thermal X-ray radiation due to the heated surface of their magnetic polar caps. Detailed numerical modeling of the rotation-induced thermal X-ray pulsations observed from recycled millisecond pulsars, including all relevant relativistic and stellar atmospheric effects, has been identified as a promising approach towards an astrophysical determination of the true neutron star mass-radius relation, and by extension the state of cold matter at densities exceeding those of atomic nuclei. Herein, I review the basic model and methodology commonly used to extract information regarding neutron star structure from the pulsed X-ray radiation observed from millisecond pulsars. I also summarize the results of past X-ray observations of these objects and the prospects for precision neutron star mass-radius measurements with the upcoming Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) X-ray timing mission.
© SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2016