Stellar Models in General Relativity

University dissertation from Stockholm : Fysikum

Abstract: Neutron stars are some of the most fascinating objects in Nature. Essentially all aspects of physics seems to be represented inside them. Their cores are likely to contain deconfined quarks, hyperons and other exotic phases of matter in which the strong interaction is the dominant force. The inner region of their solid crust is penetrated by superfluid neutrons and their magnetic fields may reach well over 1012 Gauss. Moreover, their extreme mean densities, well above the densities of nuclei, and their rapid rotation rates makes them truly relativistic both in the special as well as in the general sense. This thesis deals with a small subset of these phenomena. In particular the exciting possibility of trapping of gravita-tional waves is examined from a theoretical point of view. It is shown that the standard condition R < 3M is not essential to the trapping mechanism. This point is illustrated using the elegant tool provided by the optical geometry. It is also shown that a realistic equation of state proposed in the literature allows stable neutron star models with closed circular null orbits, something which is closely related to trapped gravitational waves. Furthermore, the general relativistic theory of elasticity is reviewed and applied to stellar models. Both static equilibrium as well as radially oscillating configurations with elasticsources are examined. Finally, Killing tensors are considered and their applicability to modeling of stars is discussed