Indian Researchers Show That Neutron Stars, Like Black Holes, Radiate Gravitational Waves

Swarajya Staff

Dec 20, 2016, 05:16 PM | Updated 05:16 PM IST

Neutron star (Kevin Gill/Flickr)
Neutron star (Kevin Gill/Flickr)

A study by Indian researchers suggests that a population of neutron stars can generate gravitational waves continuously, a finding that could provide an opportunity to study these waves almost permanently.

The study by Professor Sudip Bhattacharyya of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and Professor Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States found that a population of neutron stars should spin around their axes much faster than the highest observed spin rate of any neutron star. The observed lower spin rates are possible if these neutron stars emit gravitational waves continuously, and hence spin down, the researchers said.

Gravitational waves emitted by massive objects is a prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which has recently been discovered during transient phenomena of black hole mergers. But the detection of continuous gravitational waves, which could provide an opportunity to study these waves almost permanently, is still elusive.

The new study, published in The Astrophysical Journal, provides a strong indication that many fast-spinning neutron stars generate gravitational waves continuously, and careful observations should be made to detect such waves.

With inputs from IANS

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