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Yuri Levin

PI (Neutron Stars)

I am a Professor of Physics at Columbia University, and I work on astrophysics of extreme objects. I find it particularly interesting when the physics familiar to us in terrestrial contexts is tested in the regimes of extreme gravity, ultra-high densities, and huge magnetic fields. I held research and faculty positions in California, Canada, the Netherlands, and Australia, before landing in New York City.


For neutron stars, I worked on their seismology (r-modes, magnetar oscillations, and crustal quakes), on nuclear explosions on their surfaces, on their magnetic activity, and on their use as detectors of gravitational waves from super-precise pulsar timing measurements. Recently, I have been investigating the dynamics of superfluid flows in their interiors, and on the behavior of strong magnetic Hall waves in their crusts. My current aim is to understand glitches and irregularities in the rotation of pulsars and magnetars.


For black holes, I have explored the stellar and gas dynamics in galactic nuclei, with a particular focus on SgrA*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. I have also studied formation of accretion discs which are dominated by the the pressure of toroidal magnetic fields. I am interested to understand the interaction of Keplerian accretion discs around supermassive black holes, with the gravitational and magnetic fields of surrounding star clusters, and explore the impact of these interactions on the rate of rotation of the black holes. 

Five recent relevant references

Link, B. and Levin, Y., 2022, “Vortex Pinning in Neutron Stars, Slipstick Dynamics, and the Origin of Spin Glitches”, ApJ, vol. 941, 2

Bransgrove, A., Beloborodov, A. M., and Levin, Y., 2020, “A Quake Quenching the Vela Pulsar”, ApJ, vol. 897. 2


Levin, Y., Beloborodov, A. M., and Bransgrove, A.,2020, “Precessing Flaring Magnetar as a Source of Repeating FRB 180916.J0158+65”, ApJ, vol. 895. 2 


Bransgrove, A., Levin, Y., and Beloborodov, A., 2018, “Magnetic field evolution of neutron stars - I. Basic formalism, numerical techniques and first results”, MNRAS, vol. 473, 2, pp. 2771–2790

Li, X., Levin, Y., and Beloborodov, A. M., 2016, “Magnetar Outbursts from Avalanches of Hall Waves and Crustal Failures”, ApJ, vol. 833, 2


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