Supersolids and… neutron stars?!

With colleagues from LNGS and Gran Sasso Science Institute (L’Aquila, Italy), we show that rotating dipolar quantum gases in the supersolid phase can serve as a versatile analogues of neutron stars effectively emulating their behaviour during a glitch, an occasional abrupt speed up of a highly magnetic neutron star’s rotation frequency, followed by a slow relaxation. In rotating neutron stars, glitches are believed to occur when many superfluid vortices unpin from the interior, transferring angular momentum to the stellar surface. In the supersolid analogy, we show that a glitch happens when vortices pinned in the low-density inter-droplet region abruptly unpin. We show that dipolar supersolids offer an unprecedented possibility to test both the vortex and crystal dynamics during glitches events and they provide a tool to study glitches originating from different radial depths of a neutron star. Benchmarking our theory against neutron star observations, these results will open a new avenue for the quantum simulation of stellar objects from Earth.

See the pre-print here: arXiv:2306.09698