Pulse Profiles, Spectra, and Polarization Characteristics of Nonthermal Emissions from the Crab-like Pulsars

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 11/2007; 670(1):677-692. DOI: 10.1086/521785
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We discuss nonthermal emission mechanisms of the Crab-like pulsars with both a two-dimensional electrodynamic study and a three-dimensional model. We investigate the emission process in the outer gap accelerator. In the two-dimensional electrodynamic study, we solve the Poisson equation of the accelerating electric field in the outer gap and the equation of motion of the primary particles with the synchrotron and the curvature radiation processes and the pair-creation process. We show a solved gap structure that produces a gamma-ray spectrum consistent with EGRET observations. Based on the two-dimensional model, we construct a three-dimensional emission model to calculate the synchrotron and the inverse Compton processes of the secondary pairs produced outside the outer gap. We calculate the pulse profiles, the phase-resolved spectra, and the polarization characteristics in optical through gamma-ray bands for comparison with the observation of the Crab pulsar and PSR B0540-69. For the Crab pulsar, we find that the outer gap geometry extending from near the stellar surface to near the light cylinder produces a complex morphology change of the pulse profiles as a function of the photon energy. This predicted morphology change is quite similar to that of the observations. The calculated phase-resolved spectra are consistent with the data from the optical to the gamma-ray bands. We demonstrate that the 10%-20% of the polarization degree in the optical emissions from the Crab pulsar and the Vela pulsar is explained by the synchrotron emissions from the particle gyration motion. For PSR B0540-69, the observed pulse profile with a single broad pulse is reproduced for an emission region thicker and an inclination angle between the rotational axis and the magnetic axis smaller than the Crab pulsar.

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    ABSTRACT: {\it Fermi}-LAT has detected pulsed gamma-ray emissions with high confidences from more than 40 millisecond pulsars (MSPs). Here we study the phase-averaged gamma-ray properties of MSPs by using revised version of a self-consistent outer gap model. In this model, a strong multipole magnetic field near the stellar surface for a MSP is assumed and such a field will be close to the surface magnetic fields ($\sim 10^{11}- 10^{12}$ G) of young ulsars; the outer gap of a MSP is controlled by photon-photon pair production process, where the effects of magnetic inclination angle ($\alpha$) and magnetic geometry have been taken into account, therefore the fractional size of the outer gap is a function of not only pulsar's period and magnetic field strength but also magnetic inclination angle and radial distance to the neutron star, the inner boundary of the outer gap can be estimated by the pair production process of the gamma-ray photons which are produced by the back-flowing particles through the null charge surface; inside the outer gap, a Gaussian distribution of the parallel electric field along the trans-field thickness is assumed, and the gamma-ray emission is represented by the emission from the average radial distance along the central field lines of the outer gap. Using this model, the phase-averaged gamma-ray spectra are calculated and compared with the observed spectra of 37 MSPs given by the second {\it Fermi}-LAT catalog of gamma-ray pulsars, our results show that the {\it Fermi}-LAT results can be well explained by this model. The thermal X-ray emission properties from MSPs are also investigated.
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    ABSTRACT: Since the launch of the Fermi telescope more than five years ago, many new gamma-ray pulsars have been discovered with intriguing properties challenging our current understanding of pulsar physics. Observation of the Crab pulsar furnish today a broad band analysis of the pulsed spectrum with phase-resolved variability allowing to refine existing model to explain pulse shape, spectra and polarization properties. The latter gives inside into the geometry of the emitting region as well as on the structure of the magnetic field. Based on an exact analytical solution of the striped wind with finite current sheet thickness, we analyze in detail the phase-resolved polarization variability emanating from the synchrotron radiation. We assume that the main contribution to the wind emissivity comes from a thin transition layer where the dominant toroidal magnetic field reverses its polarity, the so-called current sheet. The resulting radiation is mostly linearly polarized. In the off-pulse region, the electric vector lies in the direction of the projection onto the plane of the sky of the rotation axis of the pulsar. This property is unique to the wind model and in good agreement with the Crab data. Other properties such as a reduced degree of polarization and a characteristic sweep of the polarization angle within the pulses are also reproduced. These properties are qualitatively unaffected by variations of the wind Lorentz factor, the lepton injection power law index, the contrast in hot and cold particle, the obliquity of the pulsar and the inclination of the line of sight.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 434(3). · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We study the phase-averaged spectra and luminosities of γ-ray emissions from young, isolated pulsars within a revised outer gap model. In the revised version of the outer gap, there are two possible cases for the outer gaps: the fractional size of the outer gap is estimated through the photon-photon pair process in the first case (Case I), and is limited by the critical field lines in the second case (Case II). The fractional size is described by Case I if the fractional size at the null charge surface in Case I is smaller than that in Case II, and vice versa. Such an outer gap can extend from the inner boundary, whose radial distance to the neutron star is less than that of the null charge surface to the light cylinder for a γ-ray pulsar with a given magnetic inclination. When the shape of the outer gap is determined, assuming that high-energy emission at an averaged radius of the field line in the center of the outer gap, with a Gaussian distribution of the parallel electric field along the gap height, represents typical emission, the phase-averaged γ-ray spectrum for a given pulsar can be estimated in the revised model with three model parameters. We apply the model to explain the phase-averaged spectra of the Vela (Case I) and Geminga (Case II) pulsars. We also use the model to fit the phase-averaged spectra of 54 young, isolated γ-ray pulsars, and then calculate the γ-ray luminosities and compare them with the observed data from Fermi-LAT.
    The Astrophysical Journal 02/2013; 765(2):124. · 6.28 Impact Factor

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