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Why do Neutron Stars have a Magnetic Field?

  1. May 20, 2006 #1
    We were having a little chat in my physics lesson about neutron stars for our A level course, and nobody really understood why neutron stars have a magnetic field if they are consist of neutrons, which are obviously neutral charge. We thought that you needed charged particles to create a magnetic field?

    Alex Gawthrope
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2006 #2


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    A neutron star is actually not composed entirely of neutrons. On the surface, in particular, charged particles are abundant, producing a great deal of radiation in the case of pulsars. The strong magnetic fields and rapid rotation of young neutron stars both arise from the contraction of the initial stellar core. A small rotation rate for the core will, by conservation of angular momentum, result in a rapidly rotating neutron star. Similarly, a small magnetic field in the stellar core will be greatly amplified by conservation of magnetic flux during the contraction.
  4. May 20, 2006 #3


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  5. May 20, 2006 #4
    Thank you, I'll let the class know on Monday.
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