Neutron stars: Formed, spun and kicked

V. Kalogera*, F. Valsecchi, B. Willems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


One of the primary goals when studying stellar systems with neutron stars has been to reveal the physical properties of progenitors and understand how neutron star spins and birth kicks are determined. Over the years a consensus understanding had been developed, but recently some of the basic elements of this understanding are being challenged by current observations of some binary systems and their theoretical interpretation. In what follows we review such recent developments and highlight how they are interconnected; we particularly emphasize some of the assumptions and caveats of theoretical interpretations and examine their validity (e.g., in connection to the unknown radial velocities of pulsars or the nuances of multi-dimensional statistical analyses). The emerging picture does not erase our earlier understanding; instead it broadens it as it reveals additional pathways for neutron star formation and evolution: neutron stars probably form at the end of both core collapse of Fe cores of massive stars and electron-capture supernovae of ONeMg cores of lower-mass stars; birth kicks are required to be high (well in excess of 100kms-1) for some neutron stars and low (<100kms-1) for others depending on the formation process; and spin up may occur not just through Roche-lobe overflow but also through wind accretion or phases of hypercritical accretion during common envelope evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication40 Years Of Pulsars
Subtitle of host publicationMillisecond Pulsars, Magnetars and More
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2008
Event40 Years Of Pulsars: Millisecond Pulsars, Magnetars and More - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Aug 12 2007Aug 17 2007

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other40 Years Of Pulsars: Millisecond Pulsars, Magnetars and More
CityMontreal, QC


  • Stars: Binaries: Close
  • Stars: Neutron
  • Stars: Pulsars: General
  • Stars: Supernovae: General

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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