Rotation of the Sun

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Science  26 May 1967:
Vol. 156, Issue 3778, pp. 1101-1102
DOI: 10.1126/science.156.3778.1101


Dicke has interpreted his recent measurement of the sun's oblateness as implying a fast (1.8-day period) rotation of the solar radiative interior. We find that differentially rotating solar models, such as the one proposed by Dicke, are unstable. The rate of turbulent diffusion in the unstable regions of these models is so rapid that it appears to preclude a fast spinning solar interior. As a corollary of the stability analysis, we conclude that the loss of a significant fraction of a star's angular momentum must be accomnpanied by the mixing of material below its convective zone. Such mixing inevitably leads to the depletion of lithium in the star's photosphere.