Journal Article

Formation of the radio profile components of the Crab pulsar

S. A. Petrova

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 395, issue 3, pages 1723-1732
Published in print May 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14663.x
Formation of the radio profile components of the Crab pulsar

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The induced Compton scattering of radio emission off the particles of the ultrarelativistic electron–positron plasma in the open field line tube of a pulsar is considered. We examine the scattering of a bright narrow radio beam into the background over a wide solid angle and specifically study the scattering in the transverse regime, which holds in a moderately strong magnetic field and gives rise to the scattered component nearly antiparallel to the streaming velocity of the scattering particles. Making use of the angular distribution of the scattered intensity and taking into account the effect of rotational aberration in the scattering region, we simulate the profiles of the backscattered components as applied to the Crab pulsar. It is suggested that the interpulse (IP), the high-frequency interpulse (IP′) and the pair of so-called high-frequency components (HFC1 and HFC2) result from the backward scattering of the main pulse (MP), precursor (PR) and low-frequency component (LFC), respectively. The components of the high-frequency profiles, the IP′ and HFCs, are interpreted for the first time. The HFC1 and HFC2 are argued to be a single component split by the rotational aberration close to the light cylinder. It is demonstrated that the observed spectral and polarization properties of the profile components of the Crab pulsar as well as the giant pulse phenomenon outside the MP can be explained in terms of our model.

Keywords: radiation mechanisms: non-thermal; scattering; pulsars: general; pulsars: individual: Crab pulsar

Journal Article.  7908 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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