Verbal noun of → brake.
Fr.: indice de freinage
A parameter indicating the rate at which a → pulsar slows down. Neutron stars are powered by → rotational energy and lose energy by accelerating particle → winds and by emitting → electromagnetic radiation. The → rotation frequency, Ω, thus decreases with time and this slowdown is usually described by the relation Ω. = - kΩn, where k is a positive constant which depends on the → moment of inertia and the → magnetic dipole moment of the → neutron star and n is the braking index. Conventionally, the braking index is derived by differentiation of the above equation, yielding n = ΩΩ.. / Ω.2. In a highly simplified model in which the spin-down torque arises from dipole radiation at the rotation frequency, one expects n = 3 (Johnston, S., Galloway, D., 1999, arXiv:astro-ph/9905058).
Fr.: freinage magnétique
The process whereby a star which loses mass slows down under the action of its → magnetic field. The stellar material follows the → magnetic field lines extending well beyond the stellar surface. The material gain → angular momentum and the underlying object is slowed down. Magnetic braking is an efficient mechanism for removing angular momentum from the the rotating object. See also → disk locking.
Fr.: freinage radiatif
The slowing down of a star's rotation due to radiative momentum transfer caused by emission of electromagnetic radiation.
Fr.: freinage des marées
The physical process that slows the → Earth's rotation rate due to → tidal friction. The → Earth rotates faster than the → Moon orbits the Earth (24 hours compared to 27 days). The → friction between the ocean and the solid Earth below drags the → tidal bulge ahead of the line joining the Earth and the Moon. The → gravitational attraction of the Moon on the bulge provides a braking action on the Earth and decelerates its rotation. Tidal braking lengthens the day by 0.002 seconds every century. Because the total → angular momentum of the → Earth-Moon system in conserved, the loss in the angular momentum of the Earth is compensated by the orbital angular momentum of the Moon. Hence, the Moon moves away from Earth at a rate of about 3 cm per year. This process must continue until Earth's → day and → month are equal, at which point the Moon will never seem to move in Earth's sky and Earth is said to be tidally locked to the Moon (→ tidal locking).