Braking index

The braking index is a measure used in astrophysics to describe the rate at which the rotation of a neutron star is slowing down over time. Neutron stars are extremely dense, compact objects that are formed when a massive star undergoes a supernova explosion and its core collapses.

As a neutron star rotates, it emits beams of radiation from its magnetic poles, which can be detected by telescopes on Earth. The rate at which the neutron star’s rotation slows down over time can be measured by observing changes in the arrival times of these radiation pulses.

The braking index is defined as the ratio of the angular acceleration of the neutron star to its angular velocity. In other words, it is a measure of how the rate of slowing down is changing with time. For example, if the braking index is 3, it means that the neutron star is slowing down at a rate that is proportional to the cube of its rotation frequency.

The braking index is an important parameter for understanding the internal structure and properties of neutron stars, as well as for testing theories of gravity and other fundamental physics. Different models of neutron star evolution and magnetic field decay can predict different values of the braking index, which can be compared with observations to test the validity of these models. Read More about School Analytics.