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Evidence for a Minimum Ellipticity in Millisecond Pulsars

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Article numberL40
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/08/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Astrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number2
Volume863
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Neutron stars spin down over time due to a number of energy-loss processes. We provide tantalizing population-based evidence that millisecond pulsars (MSPs) have a minimum ellipticity of epsilon ≈ 10−9 around their spin axis and that, consequently, some spin down mostly through gravitational-wave emission. We discuss the implications of such a minimum ellipticity in terms of the internal magnetic field strengths and nuclear matter composition of neutron stars and show it would result in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo gravitational-wave detectors, or their upgrades, detecting gravitational waves from some known MSPs in the near future.