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Superfluid vortex avalanches and pulsar glitches

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Rotating neutron stars, or pulsars, are famously stable rotators which spin down over time. Some pulsars, however, experience sudden spin up events, known as glitches. It is widely believed that the cause of glitches is a sudden rearrangement of superfluid vortices in the neutron star interior, but the diverse phenomenology of glitches coupled with a lack of observational data makes this a difficult model to test. I will discuss the evidence for vortex avalanches in the distributions of glitch sizes and waiting times, as well as numerical work studying the dynamics of a pinned superfluid in a decelerating container.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Journal Club and Group Meeting series.

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