Article

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

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.73). 01/2007; 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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