skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Revised Pulsar Spindown

Abstract

We address the issue of electromagnetic pulsar spindown by combining our experience from the two limiting idealized cases which have been studied in great extent in the past: that of an aligned rotator where ideal MHD conditions apply, and that of a misaligned rotator in vacuum. We construct a spindown formula that takes into account the misalignment of the magnetic and rotation axes, and the magnetospheric particle acceleration gaps. We show that near the death line aligned rotators spin down much slower than orthogonal ones. In order to test this approach, we use a simple Monte Carlo method to simulate the evolution of pulsars and find a good fit to the observed pulsar distribution in the P-{dot P} diagram without invoking magnetic field decay. Our model may also account for individual pulsars spinning down with braking index n < 3, by allowing the corotating part of the magnetosphere to end inside the light cylinder. We discuss the role of magnetic reconnection in determining the pulsar braking index. We show, however, that n {approx} 3 remains a good approximation for the pulsar population as a whole. Moreover, we predict that pulsars near the death line have braking index values n >more » 3, and that the older pulsar population has preferentially smaller magnetic inclination angles. We discuss possible signatures of such alignment in the existing pulsar data.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
877495
Report Number(s):
SLAC-PUB-11551
Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X; ASJOAB; astro-ph/0512002; TRN: US200608%%182
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ACCELERATION; ALIGNMENT; DECAY; DISTRIBUTION; INCLINATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIC RECONNECTION; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PULSARS; ROTATION; SPIN; Astrophysics,ASTRO

Citation Formats

Contopoulos, Ioannis, /Athens Academy, Spitkovsky, Anatoly, and /KIPAC, Menlo Park. Revised Pulsar Spindown. United States: N. p., 2005. Web.
Contopoulos, Ioannis, /Athens Academy, Spitkovsky, Anatoly, & /KIPAC, Menlo Park. Revised Pulsar Spindown. United States.
Contopoulos, Ioannis, /Athens Academy, Spitkovsky, Anatoly, and /KIPAC, Menlo Park. Wed . "Revised Pulsar Spindown". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/877495.
@article{osti_877495,
title = {Revised Pulsar Spindown},
author = {Contopoulos, Ioannis and /Athens Academy and Spitkovsky, Anatoly and /KIPAC, Menlo Park},
abstractNote = {We address the issue of electromagnetic pulsar spindown by combining our experience from the two limiting idealized cases which have been studied in great extent in the past: that of an aligned rotator where ideal MHD conditions apply, and that of a misaligned rotator in vacuum. We construct a spindown formula that takes into account the misalignment of the magnetic and rotation axes, and the magnetospheric particle acceleration gaps. We show that near the death line aligned rotators spin down much slower than orthogonal ones. In order to test this approach, we use a simple Monte Carlo method to simulate the evolution of pulsars and find a good fit to the observed pulsar distribution in the P-{dot P} diagram without invoking magnetic field decay. Our model may also account for individual pulsars spinning down with braking index n < 3, by allowing the corotating part of the magnetosphere to end inside the light cylinder. We discuss the role of magnetic reconnection in determining the pulsar braking index. We show, however, that n {approx} 3 remains a good approximation for the pulsar population as a whole. Moreover, we predict that pulsars near the death line have braking index values n > 3, and that the older pulsar population has preferentially smaller magnetic inclination angles. We discuss possible signatures of such alignment in the existing pulsar data.},
doi = {},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Dec 14 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Wed Dec 14 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}