I am wondering that whether Kolmogorov spectrum, which describes the energy distribution in turbulence be used to describe the plasma fluctuation in the atmosphere of neutron star.

As I know, Kolmogorov spectrum has been used in solar physics to model the small scale fluctuations, and there is also research on the turbulence in the core of neutron star and used Kolmogorov spectrum.

However, I haven't found references concerning describing the fluctuation in the atomosphere of neutron star, can it use Kolmogorov spectrum or other methods?


1 Answer 1


The "low frequency noise" seen in the x-ray light curves of accreting neutron stars and black holes is approximated by a pink noise spectrum, power proportional to $f^{-1}$. There doesn't seem to be any way to relate that to the $k^{-5/3}$ energy spectrum of Kolmogorov turbulence. So, there's some sort of scaleless stochastic process going on, but it's not the same as the Kolmogorov process.

As Mandelbrot pointed out in "Fractals: Form, Chance, and Dimension", scaleless stochastic processes are very common in the physical world. They are, however, resistant to reductionist "explanation", so they don't feature much in physics texts.

However, searching for "neutron star accretion flicker noise" yields many results.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. Could there be alternative interpretations for this scale-invariant stochastic process? Are there any references you could suggest? $\endgroup$
    – Link
    Oct 13, 2023 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I will peruse the recommended references. $\endgroup$
    – Link
    Oct 15, 2023 at 9:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.