The ground-state crust, described in the preceding sections, is built of an idealized one-component plasma of atomic nuclei and assumes full thermody-namic equilibrium. The real crust may deviate from these idealized models. The knowledge of "imperfections" of the crust is particularly important for its transport properties (§ 1.3.6). On the other hand, a crust which is out of nuclear equilibrium, constitutes a reservoir of energy which could be released and influence neutron star evolution.
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