On the role of corotation radius in the low T/W dynamical instability of differentially rotating stars

Shin'ichirou Yoshida, Motoyuki Saijo

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate the nature of so-called low T/Wdynamical instability in a differentially rotating star, by focusing on the role played by the corotation radius of the unstable oscillation modes. A one-dimensional model of linear perturbation, which neglects dependence of variables on the coordinate along the rotational axis of the star, is solved to obtain stable and unstable eigenmodes. A linear eigenmode having a corotation radius, at which azimuthal pattern speed of the mode coincides with the stellar angular velocity, is categorized to either a complex (growing or damping) mode or a purely real mode belonging to a continuous spectrum of frequency. We compute canonical angular momentum and its flux to study eigenmodes with corotation radius. In a dynamically unstable mode, sound wave transports its angular momentum in such a way that the absolute value of the angular momentum is increased on both sides of the corotation radius. We further evaluate growth of amplitude of reflected sound wave incident to a corotation point, and find that the overreflection of the wave and the trapping of it between the corotation radius and the surface of the star may qualitatively explain dependences of eigenfrequencies on the stellar differential rotation. The results suggest that the low T/W instability may be caused by overreflection of sound waves trapped mainly between the surface of the star and a corotation radius.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-612
Number of pages13
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Instabilities
  • Stars: neutron
  • Stars: oscillations
  • Stars: rotation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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