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[Press Release] Pulsar glitches from quantum vortex networks

A co-Principal Investigator of WPI-SKCM², Dr. Muneto Nitta (Keio University), and a postdoctoral researcher (at the time of research), Dr. Shigehiro Yasui, published a paper entitled “Pulsar glitches from quantum vortex networks” in Scientific Reports (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-56383-w) (published on April 3rd, 2024).


In this research, the authors elucidated astrophysical phenomena called pulsar glitches, i.e. sudden spin-up events of neutron stars (also known as pulsars), which are ultra high density stars of 10 km with about a solar mass. They successfully explained a statistical property (a power law) of the observed glitches from a network of quantum vortices formed through “boojums” at the interface of two kinds of quantum fluids inside neutron stars. Their result that the topologically protected quantum vortex networks appears in neutron stars suggests a novel connection between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds in nature.

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