Vol 17, No 6 (2017) / Mathew

General relativistic calculations for white dwarfs

Arun Mathew, Malay K. Nandy


The mass-radius relations for white dwarfs are investigated by solving the Newtonian as well as Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff (TOV) equations for hydrostatic equilibrium assuming the electron gas to be non-interacting. We find that the Newtonian limiting mass of 1.4562 M is modified to 1.4166 M in the general relativistic case for \(^4_2\)He (and \(^{12}_{6}\)C) white dwarfs. Using the same general relativistic treatment, the critical mass for \(^{56}_{26}\)Fe white dwarfs is obtained as 1.2230 M. In addition, departure from the ideal degenerate equation of state (EoS) is accounted for by considering Salpeter’s EoS along with the TOV equation, yielding slightly lower values for the critical masses, namely 1.4081 Mfor \(^{4}_{2}\)He, 1.3916 M for \(^{12}_{6}\)C and 1.1565 M for \(^{56}_{26}\)Fe white dwarfs. We also compare the critical densities for gravitational instability with the neutronization threshold densities to find that \(^{4}_{2}\)He and \(^{12}_{6}\)C white dwarfs are stable against neutronization with the critical values of 1.4081 M and 1.3916 M, respectively. However, the critical masses for \(^{16}_{8}\)O, \(^{20}_{10}\)Ne, \(^{24}_{12}\)Mg, \(^{28}_{14}\)Si, \(^{32}_{16}\)S and \(^{56}_{26}\)Fe white dwarfs are lower due to neutronization. Corresponding to their central densities for neutronization thresholds, we obtain their maximum stable masses due to neutronization by solving the TOV equation coupled with the Salpeter EoS.


equation of state — hydrodynamics — instabilities — relativistic processes — stars: white dwarfs

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1674–4527/17/6/61


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