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Centripetal Acceleration of pulsar

  1. Oct 8, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Pulsars are neutron stars that emit X rays and other radiation in such a way that we on Earth receive pulses of radiation from pulsars at regular intervals equal to the period that they rotate. A certain pulsar has a period currently of length 33.085m/s and is estimated to have an equatorial radius of 15km.
    a) What is the value of the centripetal acceleration of an object on the surface at the equator of the pulsar?
    b) many pulsars are observed to have periods that lengthen slightly with time. The rate of slowing of this pulsar is 3.5x10^-13 seconds, which implies that if this rate remains constant it will stop spinning in 9.5x10^10 seconds. What is the tangential acceleration of an object on the equator of this neutron star?

    2. Relevant equations
    ac = v2/r
    at= dv/dt

    3. The attempt at a solution
    a) for a) I got 5.413x10^8 (m/s2)
    b) This is the part that I'm getting stuck on. I'm not really sure what tangential acceleration is. And even using the dv/dt I'm not entirely sure where I would get dv/dt. Any suggestions/questions for this portion are appreciated
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    the rate of slowing means the rate of change of angular displacement.

    So you can find the angular acceleration and then use at=αr
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