Over the last decade, compact stars have been shown to be excellent tools to test fundamental properties of gravity and matter under extreme conditions.
Compstar 2009 will have as main topic the crust, the envelope and the atmosphere of compact stars.
A few hours after birth a neutron star has cooled down below 10^9 K, a solid crust will be formed in the external layers. The crust of neutron stars contains only a few percent of the NS mass, but plays a crucial role in NS evolution (cooling, accretion, bursts) and dynamics (glitches, non-axial deformations).
Its structure above 10^11 g/cm^3 is still uncertain. Are nuclei ordered in a nearly perfect crystal lattice with only one nuclide present or is the structure heterogeneous?
The answer is of crucial importance for the electrical conductivity of the crust (important for the magnetic field evolution) and its heat conductivity (crucial for the relation between the surface and the core temperature).