Will Newton (Texas A&M University-Commerce)
Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics & Astronomy
College Station, Texas 77843
8-10 solar mass stars may end their lives in electron-capture supernovae (ECSNe), in which ONeMg cores are destabilized by electron captures onto Neon and Magnesium. Strong circumstantial evidence exists that the Crab pulsar and PSR J0737-3039b were formed in ECSNe. Evidence for the existence of the ECSN mechanism has important implications for the rate of production of Be/X-ray binaries and the rate of binary neutron star mergers.
I will discuss how supernova modeling suggests that neutron stars formed via the electron-capture mechanism have a specific gravitational binding energy. Recently, universal relations between neutron star properties including their binding energy, moment of inertia, quadrupole moments and tidal polarizability have been carefully examined. I will show how these relations, coupled with measurements of the post-Newtonian parameters of the PSR J0737-3039 system and of the acceleration of the Crab supernova remnant, can provide evidence for or against the electron-capture supernova formation scenario.