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Title: Effects of finite emission height in precision pulsar timing

Abstract

Precision timing is the key ingredient of ongoing pulsar-based gravitational wave searches and tests of general relativity using binary pulsars. The conventional approach to timing explicitly assumes that the radio emitting region is located at the center of the pulsar, while polarimetric observations suggest that radio emission is in fact produced at altitudes ranging from tens to thousands of kilometers above the neutron star surface. Here we present a calculation of the effects of finite emission height on the timing of binary pulsars using a simple model for the emitting region geometry. A finite height of emission h changes the propagation path of radio photons through the binary and gives rise to a large spin velocity of the emission region corotating with the neutron star. Under favorable conditions these two effects introduce corrections to the conventional time delays at the microsecond level (for a millisecond pulsar in a double neutron star binary with a period of several hours and assuming h=100 km). Exploiting the dependence of the emission height on frequency (radius-to-frequency mapping) and using multifrequency observations one should be able to detect these timing corrections even though they are formally degenerate with conventional time delays. Although even in themore » most accurately timed systems the magnitude of the finite emission height effects is currently somewhat below timing precision, longer-term observations and future facilities like SKA will make measurement of these effects possible, providing an independent check of existing emission height estimates.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 (Canada)
  2. (Canada)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21011030
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review. D, Particles Fields; Journal Volume: 75; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.75.042002; (c) 2007 The American Physical Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; ACCURACY; CORRECTIONS; COSMOLOGY; EMISSION; GENERAL RELATIVITY THEORY; GRAVITATIONAL WAVES; NEUTRON STARS; PHOTONS; PULSARS; SPIN; TIME DELAY; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

D'Angelo, Caroline, Rafikov, Roman R., and CITA, McLennan Physics Labs, 60 St. George St., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8. Effects of finite emission height in precision pulsar timing. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVD.75.042002.
D'Angelo, Caroline, Rafikov, Roman R., & CITA, McLennan Physics Labs, 60 St. George St., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8. Effects of finite emission height in precision pulsar timing. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVD.75.042002.
D'Angelo, Caroline, Rafikov, Roman R., and CITA, McLennan Physics Labs, 60 St. George St., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8. Thu . "Effects of finite emission height in precision pulsar timing". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVD.75.042002.
@article{osti_21011030,
title = {Effects of finite emission height in precision pulsar timing},
author = {D'Angelo, Caroline and Rafikov, Roman R. and CITA, McLennan Physics Labs, 60 St. George St., University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5S 3H8},
abstractNote = {Precision timing is the key ingredient of ongoing pulsar-based gravitational wave searches and tests of general relativity using binary pulsars. The conventional approach to timing explicitly assumes that the radio emitting region is located at the center of the pulsar, while polarimetric observations suggest that radio emission is in fact produced at altitudes ranging from tens to thousands of kilometers above the neutron star surface. Here we present a calculation of the effects of finite emission height on the timing of binary pulsars using a simple model for the emitting region geometry. A finite height of emission h changes the propagation path of radio photons through the binary and gives rise to a large spin velocity of the emission region corotating with the neutron star. Under favorable conditions these two effects introduce corrections to the conventional time delays at the microsecond level (for a millisecond pulsar in a double neutron star binary with a period of several hours and assuming h=100 km). Exploiting the dependence of the emission height on frequency (radius-to-frequency mapping) and using multifrequency observations one should be able to detect these timing corrections even though they are formally degenerate with conventional time delays. Although even in the most accurately timed systems the magnitude of the finite emission height effects is currently somewhat below timing precision, longer-term observations and future facilities like SKA will make measurement of these effects possible, providing an independent check of existing emission height estimates.},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVD.75.042002},
journal = {Physical Review. D, Particles Fields},
number = 4,
volume = 75,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 15 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Feb 15 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
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