Angular Momentum Transport in Stellar Interiors

Conny Aerts, Stéphane Mathis, Tamara M. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Stars lose a significant amount of angular momentum between birth and death, implying that efficient processes transporting it from the core to the surface are active. Space asteroseismology delivered the interior rotation rates of more than a thousand low- and intermediate-mass stars, revealing the following: □ Single stars rotate nearly uniformly during the core-hydrogen and core-helium burning phases. □ Stellar cores spin up to a factor of 10 faster than the envelope during the red giant phase. □ The angular momentum of the helium-burning core of stars is in agreement with the angular momentum of white dwarfs. Observations reveal a strong decrease of core angular momentum when stars have a convective core. Current theory of angular momentum transport fails to explain this. We propose improving the theory with a data-driven approach, whereby angular momentum prescriptions derived frommultidimensional (magneto)hydrodynamical simulations and theoretical considerations are continuously tested against modern observations. The TESS and PLATO space missions have the potential to derive the interior rotation of large samples of stars, including high-mass and metal-poor stars in binaries and clusters. This will provide the powerful observational constraints needed to improve theory and simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-78
Number of pages44
JournalAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Aug 18 2019


  • asteroseismology
  • stars: evolution
  • stars: interiors
  • stars: oscillations (including pulsations)
  • stars: rotation
  • waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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