Neutron stars are represented by cool and superdense matter. For modern nuclear physics, the behavior of this substance is one of the biggest mysteries. To solve the problem, scientists have come up with a new way to calculate the radius of neutron stars. This should help to understand what is happening with the substance inside the star under strong pressure.
The method is based on the simulation of X-ray radiation by a thermonuclear explosion in the upper layers of the star. When comparing the observed X-ray radiation and the indicators of the models, it was possible to designate a limit on the size of the studying source. Found that in a radius of a neutron star should cover 12.4 km.
Early measurements showed a result of 10–16 km. New data demonstrate exactly how nuclear-physical conditions are formed in incredibly dense neutron stars. Of particular interest is the equation of state of neutron matter, revealing how the compressible substance behaves in extremely high densities. The density of the matter of a neutron star is 100 million tons per cm 3. Now these are the only objects in nature in which this kind of extreme state of matter can be studied. This information will also help to better understand the gravitational waves from the impact of neutron stars recorded by LIGO.
It turns out that the shape of the gravitational wave signal depends on the radii and the state of neutron stars. Therefore, researchers plan to combine the results to get more accurate indicators.