Journal Article

Does a strong particle accelerator arise very close to the light cylinder in a pulsar magnetosphere?

K. Hirotani

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 442, issue 1, pages L43-L45

Published online May 2014 | e-ISSN: 1745-3933 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/mnrasl/slu042

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We examine if an efficient particle acceleration takes place by a magnetic-field-aligned electric field near the light cylinder in a rotating neutron star magnetosphere. Constructing the electric current density with the actual motion of collisionless plasmas, we express the rotationally induced Goldreich–Julian charge density as a function of position. It is demonstrated that the ‘light cylinder gap’, which emits very high energy photons via curvature process by virtue of a strong magnetic-field-aligned electric field very close to the light cylinder, will not arise in an actual pulsar magnetosphere.

Keywords: acceleration of particles; magnetic fields; methods: analytical; stars: neutron; gamma-rays: stars

Journal Article.  2209 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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