Journal Article

Profile and polarization characteristics of energetic pulsars

Patrick Weltevrede and Simon Johnston

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 391, issue 3, pages 1210-1226
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Profile and polarization characteristics of energetic pulsars

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In this paper, we compare the characteristics of pulsars with a high spin-down energy-loss rate () against those with a low . We show that the differences in the total intensity pulse morphology between the two classes are in general rather subtle. A much more significant difference is the fractional polarization which is very high for high pulsars and low for low pulsars. The at the transition is very similar to the death line predicted for curvature radiation. This suggests a possible link between high energy and radio emission in pulsars and could imply that γ-ray efficiency is correlated with the degree of linear polarization in the radio band. The degree of circular polarization is in general higher in the second component of doubles, which is possibly caused by the effect of corotation on the curvature of the field lines in the inertial observer frame.

The most direct link between the high-energy emission and the radio emission could be the subgroup of pulsars which we call the energetic wide beam pulsars. These young pulsars have very wide profiles with steep edges and are likely to be emitted from a single magnetic pole. The similarities with the high-energy profiles suggest that both types of emission are produced at the same extended height range in the magnetosphere. Alternatively, the beams of the energetic wide beam pulsars could be magnified by propagation effects in the magnetosphere. This would naturally lead to decoupling of the wave modes, which could explain the high degree of linear polarization. As part of this study, we have discovered three previously unknown interpulse pulsars (and we detected one for the first time at 20 cm). We also obtained rotation measures for 18 pulsars whose values had not previously been measured.

Keywords: polarization; pulsars: general; pulsars: individual: PSR J0905−5127; pulsars: individual: PSR J1126−6054; pulsars: individual: PSR J1611−5209; pulsars: individual: PSR J1637−4553

Journal Article.  13555 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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