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How are neuton stars intensly magnetic?

  1. Neutrons are neutral (obviously). I thought only charged particles could be magnetic. So how are neutron stars magnetic? Thanks for any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 17,638
    Staff Emeritus
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    Why would you think such a thing? Are your refrigerator magnets charged?
  4. I mean they have charged particles. neutronium is not just quasi-neutral. Its completely neutral. Or is magnetism solely dependent on spin?
  5. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    Neutrons are made out of quarks (and gluons), and quarks are charged.
    In addition, neutron stars are not 100% neutrons.
  6. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 17,638
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
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    But lets go back to the fundamental misunderstanding. Where do you get this idea of "quasi-neutral" from? Did you read it in a textbook?
  7. Neutron star crusts are of iron and stuff like that. The cores are a few percent electrons/protons, so neutron star cores are very dense with charge carriers. One or the other of these phases might have the highest density of charge carriers in the universe.
  8. Sorry I know quasi neutral means something else.
  9. TumblingDice

    TumblingDice 463
    Gold Member

    Neutron star composition

    http:// upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Neutron_star_cross_section.svg/640px-Neutron_star_cross_section.svg.png

    Image from:
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  10. Neutron star cores are superconducting, by the way. The crusts are extremely conductive as well, so neutron stars are extremely good for supporting a magnetic field.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  11. Yes, but that's true of all insulators except empty space.
  12. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    And all insulators react to magnetic fields. Usually via diamagnetism. The interaction is often weak as the density is low (compared to neutron star material).
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