Angular momentum redistribution by SASI spiral modes and consequences for neutron star spins

In the collapsing core of massive stars, the standing accretion shock instability (SASI) can drive spiral modes that efficiently redistribute angular momentum. This process can impart a spin to the forming neutron star even when the progenitor star is non-rotating. Here we develop the first analytical description of the angular momentum redistribution driven by a spiral mode of the SASI. Our analysis, valid in the limit of small mode amplitude, shows that the angular momentum separation is driven by the Reynolds stress generated by the spiral mode. The resulting solutions compare favorably with previous three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the SASI in the linear and weakly non-linear phases. Reasonable agreement is also found when extrapolating the solutions into the fully non-linear phase. A Reynolds-decomposition of the flow is performed in the saturated state of these simulations, showing that outward angular momentum transport by the Reynolds stress and turbulent mass flux balance inward transport by advection. We derive an approximate analytic expression for the maximum angular momentum deposited in the neutron star as a function of the mass accretion rate, shock radius, shock compression ratio, and amplitude of the spiral mode at the time of explosion. Implications for the birth spin periods of neutron stars are discussed.

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Date added: Fri, 11 Oct 13